Storytelling thru Baking

i think my friend LARISA might like THIS!

OMG, it is pastry porn. Finally.


Newsclipping of the Day :: CCTV in Beijing

Steven just sent me this link to OMA's new CCTV headquarters building in Beijing. We've been marvelling over this one for a while, and, while the main building is not yet complete, the cultural centre / hotel is ready for it's first purpose as CCTV's official outpost of the upcoming Olympic Games. I remember in graduate school, way back in '90, wacky Dutchman Rem Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture's star was just beginning to rise. They were finally exiting the realm of theoreticians and getting real commissions, such as the Millenium Dome in Great Britain. This is really a marvel of a complex, i can't wait to see the finished results. What do you guys think? I think it is a real work of art.


308 Garden :: 2 years of Progress

I just took a picture of our house from the same vantage point (307's sidewalk) as the first picture i took in May 2006, just before the previous occupants moved out. Besides the lovely blue sky today, you'll notice the lawn is long gone, that lots of Bracken and Lillies and Lambs Ear and Black-Eyed Susans and Echinacea and Naturtiums and lots of Creeping Jenny and Lirope and other ground covers and other perinnials are in its place. We also immediately planted a Sugar Maple acquired in Coolville, and a Ginko brought from Georgia that BC grew from a seed. Our back yard is still a big transitioning mess, but the front is finally coming along. Most of the area of grass is now replaced with Lirope, which will only be mown once a year, at the end of winter. We've also been trying to let the large, old Yew shrubs close to the porch grow a bit more naturally, abandoning the sculpted lollipop look from May '06. Oh, and notice the chimney cap too!


Newclipping of the Day :: Watch This

Why isn't this man running for President? Oh yeah, that's right. He tried too many times.
"...enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every 40 minutes to meet 100 percent of the entire world's energy needs for a full year. Tapping just a small portion of this solar energy could provide all of the electricity America uses."

"...enough wind power blows through the Midwest corridor every day to also meet 100 percent of US electricity demand."

"When we send money to foreign countries to buy nearly 70 percent of the oil we use every day, they build new skyscrapers and we lose jobs. When we spend that money building solar arrays and windmills, we build competitive industries and gain jobs here at home."


Muffin Tops

From Wikipedia:

"Muffin-top" is a generally pejorative, slang term used to describe the phenomenon of overhanging flesh when it spills over the waistline of trousers or skirt in a manner that resembles the top of a muffin spilling over its paper casing. This generally occurs when an individual wears low-rise, hip-hugger pants, or midriff-baring tops that are too small.


The Right of the People

I wish we were more like the French. They are on their FIFTH Republic, since the Revolution. They know when the government and the governors become as corrupt and malicious and conniving as ours now is, that it must be burned to the ground, reforming it all to its very foundations. I was foaming at the mouth about this last night at a party in the woods, after a few margaritas.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to abolish it..."


Outsmarting the Code Officials

In case you haven't figured it out by now, my projects in the garden involve all the infrastructure the garden requires to work and look good. Steven, of course, is all about the plants themselves and maintaining them and making sure they thrive. Me, i'm more interstitial exostructure (fences, decks, walls, walks, etc.) while Steven is cellular endo (plants, roots, digging, weeding). I've been thinking about this as Steven complains i never weed. Well, i do, he just never notices. And i never weed an entire area in one sitting like he does. And HE never is concerned with anything beyond the plants themselves.

So, our silly little town city government won't allow us to have a picket fence in our front garden. We aren't sure exactly why, something about being on a principal street and not wanting to close things in. Well it makes me mad. So i've been using our gobs and gobs of wood lath removed from the kitchen during renovation to make little tiny fences. This prototype panel is about 14 or 15 inches high and 24 wide, and just pushes into the soil. I took each scrap of lath and ripped longitudinally into 3 equal strips to start, so each member is quite small in section, like 3/8" square. I'll remove the nails as i go, and carefully arrange the cut sides this way, the plaster stained sides that, cut all the tops at a 45 degree angle so they won't soak up too much rain, etc. Now i have 30 or so more of these to go!


Picnic in the Woods

While Mom & BC were here, we got to go to Bob & Laiyee's woods and have a picnic one night. We had lots of good stuff: Laiyee made potato salad, fresh pineapple, and some wonderful pesto deviled eggs topped with shrimp; and we made tomato, avocado and grilled chicken sandwiches and a yummy cheesecake.

L & B have a beautiful 16 acres that is right in town (they are just up the hill from us), so they can walk into town, but still have the beauty of the woods, streams, and all the moss-covered boulders around their cliff. Next time, we'll take pictures of the cliff too, it's gorgeous!

It Just Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

THIS is better than any drama from The West Wing. I sincerely hope that Obama is, indeed, already on a course to take Olbermann's advice. Be sure to stick around for the second second chance portion of the program.


Newsclipping of the Day :: War with Iran??

Here's another little tidbit Congress has been working on:

"Over the last four weeks 102 House Democrats and 117 Republicans have agreed to cosponsor a new resolution against Iran that demands that President Bush “initiate an international effort” to impose a land, sea, and air blockade on Iran to prevent it from importing gasoline and to inspect all cargo entering or leaving Iran."

Unbelievable. I've read and heard alot recently about how we have enough hardware amassed all around Iran to start a full-scale war within hours. People get a clue!! Don't let the warmongers get their way again! We can not constantly start wars around the world for no good reason! Has the entire city of Washington gone nuts??

Here is a link to the Just Foreign Policy PAC and a link to find out what you can do to oppose the madness.

Have any of you read Seymour Hersh's latest that is in this week's New Yorker? I have not yet, but we heard him being interviewed about it by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, while driving around the hills of the Laurel Highlands in SW Pennsylvania Monday. DDAY over at Hullabaloo has a GREAT PIECE on the whole horrible affair, and some interesting background. Especially a quote from Dick Cheney advising that Hersch's apartment be raided and his research siezed (from 1975 though, not now. Now he makes sure no one quotes him.) . . .

FISA Vote in the Senate :: Retroactive Immunity for Telcos

Thankfully, the Senate vote on the horrible FISA "compromise" has been delayed till after the July 4th recess. I've read so much lately about the Democrats in the House who voted for this, and how the Telco campaign contributions form exact causation links. Those who got alot, voted yes for the "compromise."

I can not believe that Obama says now that he supports this bill. I've heard rumors that he supports it so he can do a Trojan Horse on it, but that is just nonsense. The Dodd/Fiengold amendment would remove the retroactive immunity portion of the bill, as part of the Senate reconciliation. We all need to do what we can to stop this from passing the Senate. You can go HERE
to sign on and become a Citizen co-sponsor of the Bill. After that, call your Senators. I put a handy-dandy list up last week of all Senate Contact Info. If any of you have any other ideas of what to do, petitions to sign, megaphones to scream through, please let me know.

Remember folks: the original FISA statutes from 1978 have worked for a long time. 99.9% of all wiretapping requests were approved, and quickly. This is about our Commander-in-Chief wanting the power to not even have to ask a judge. It is not about stopping terrorism. It is wrong, and i for one am ready for a leader who will propose a Constitutional Convention to explore, debate, and codify limits on Executive power. This entire country is going mad.


It's a Jungle Out There!

After our few days in Confluence, PA--where we visited two Frank Lloyd Wright chef d'oeuvres, Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob--we went to Pittsburgh for 24 hours or so. We happened to have dinner in the hotel hosting the 2008 ANTRHOCON. Mom, BC, and JingXia could not believe their eyes I think. Steven and i were ready to be outfitted with tails. Not.

Check Steven's blog shortly for pics of the trip.
Fight the H8 in Your State