Category Archives: google

Internet privacy = oxymoron?

So, I grabbed a picture from my sparse Flickr account because I was having second thoughts about linking to the whole set of pictures.  Because once you look through that set, someone could look through all the other pictures, too.  I supposed I could set certain ones to private, but that seems like an awful lot of work.

It makes me wonder if I should even bother trying to fly under the radar when dealing with the internet.  Are there enough holes in my routine that I’m easily found anyway?

When I started this “blog”, it was because I had all sorts of tidbits running through my head: grumbles against the world, funny snippets I’d come across, or just something I wanted to get off my chest without having to say it out loud.  Then I’d add food things I thought were clever of me to discover.  There were local restaurants I loved that weren’t getting talked about, but I also didn’t want to get smushed by Chowhound opinions.  I actually didn’t tell anyone I had put up a website, except T.  Little by little, friends found out, and then my mom.  I think my dad reads it, too.  I’m not sure about my sister.  Oh, wait, I think she might.

Anyway, I don’t think you’d find this site by Googling my name.  I’m pretty sure I don’t have anything linked that way.  I’m on MySpace and Facebook, but this site isn’t in my information there.  If I’ve e-mailed you through Gmail, you’ll know who I am.  Google is a funny thing.  The internet is a funny thing.

When T and I started dating, he confessed he Googled me and do you know what he found?  A recipe test review I had written up on Leite’s Culinaria (hee!).  When I Googled him I found a) an Australian folk singer who died, b) that he had been in a geological society in Colorado, and c) someone with his first name had a blog, loved hiking, and Ikea furniture.  It was kind of odd and unsettling and for a while I had to convince myself that there was no way he had a double life in Canada.  Now if you Google me, you’ll probably get a lot of ASCE links.

I’m not interested in long-lost people discovering me through this site.  Isn’t that what all those social networking sites are for?  I’m also not keen on people I haven’t kept in contact with following my daily/weekly/monthly life events.  It’s weird.  I think it’s a great way for my mom to see what we’re doing, and if my friends want to check in here, that’s cool, too.  Oddly enough, I have no problem with internet people I’ve never met reading this and keeping up with my life.  I suppose I just really don’t want my exes (or that one guy from high school who keeps finding me in an almost creepy way) or T’s exes to be able to keep tabs on us.  I don’t think his ex was expecting their relationship to be really and truly over when she found out we were dating.  If I were in her shoes, I’d be curious to try and see what he’s doing now.  Maybe not after all this time, though.  You never know.  That’s probably why there aren’t many people pictures here, or full names.  I find it hard to believe that anyone would be able to stalk my friends from what I talk about here, especially since they aren’t linked from this site.  I’m linked from Cami’s, but I’m not scared of anyone who comes through that way.  I’m pretty sure my bases are covered.

Do you think that’s weird?  To have a public website, to talk about my personal life and the people in it, but not want to be discovered by people I used to know long ago?  I can seriously say that Cami is the only person I talk to out of everyone I knew before college and I’m okay with that.  I don’t have any voids in my life, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on connections, and I’m actually pretty thrilled that I can say we’re friends because of who we are instead of just how long we’ve known each other.  Now, I like hearing tidbits about people I knew and I like reading their updates on Facebook.  But that’s pretty much my extent of wanting to get involved.

Of course, I still believe I could put on a better show than most of the fluff on the Food Network and that we deserve one of those travel shows where we get paid to go somewhere fun and discover new sights and tastes.  T is getting very good at outdoor grilling and I pretty much rock in the kitchen, so I’m thinking we should have a tv show that combines indoor and outdoor cooking.  We’re also way less anoying than the Neelys, in my opinion.  We’ve also gotten really good at seing major city sights in 1 or 2 days.  We conquered Seattle in a day and a half.  We saw practically all the good things in London in 2.  And I refuse to eat bad food on vacation, but we also try not to spend a lot of money.  That’s got to be a riveting show right there.  I’m just saying.  Should we be offered a ridiculously fun time on tv, I will gladly give up any anonynimity.  I would even commit to actually visiting my Facebook page, or whatever the new site is by that time.

Advertisements

Just another day

Okay, so I’m kind of glad there’s a kid out there with enough conviction to tell the Smithsonian they’ve made a mistake.  However, this article brings up a few things I would like to point out:

  • If the musuem paleobiology department knew the sign was wrong 27 years ago, why didn’t anyone at the museum listen to them?
  • His last name is Stufflebeam?  Really?  Does he get ridiculed a lot considering he comes off as a nerdy kid and he has a wonky last name?
  • This kid is totally going to grow up to be that guy in college who asks a bazillion questions in class and corrects the professor all the time.
  • Seriously.  Stufflebeam?

I’ve noticed that people are finding my site on a weekly basis by Googling “gruesome death pics”.  I have no idea why this site would come up, especially because I can’t get here running the same Google search.  It’s very bizarre to me. [edited to add: maybe they come here because I keep putting that phrase up wondering how they’re finding this site…]

Also, someone is looking for who is selling Trader Joe’s kitchen cloths.  Umm, that would be Trader Joe’s. 

To the person looking for vegetable shumai, Trader Joe’s sells one with an edamame on top and it is very tasty.  However, be forewarned that their vegetable shumai is not going to save you many calories or fat grams compared to shrimp shumai.  You’d think the vegetable version would be healthier, but it kind of isn’t.  It’s still really good, though.

Random tidbits

If you watch American Idol (I kind of just watch the auditions and part of the Hollywood episodes), could you please vote for David Archuleta?  He’s that adorably cute (as opposed to smokin’ hot cute) 16-year old kid.  I just adore him and every time he opens his mouth on tv I go, “Aww… he’s so cute!” and T is probably getting tired of it.  Anyway, we DVR the shows, so I’m never watching when the voting window is open (I assume the voting window closes within an hour or something?) so I don’t ever vote.  But, if you vote, would you please vote for him?  I would buy his CD over that Australian guy any day (although, I’d take the Australian guy whenever).

Also, I noticed someone Googled “recipe for shoes that dogs will not take” and I have to say that no such recipe exists.  If you have a shoe-taking dog, that dog will take any shoe it sees.  It doesn’t matter if you mix pleather with metal grommets and add a splash of rubber.  The dog will still take the shoe and chew on it.  Trust me.  The only true shoe protection is a cabinet or a closet.  I cleaned out half the closet in the dining room to install shoe racks from The Container Store and I’ve never been happier.  I don’t leave any shoes out, ever.  Sometimes I think about it, and then I remind myself to take the 3 seconds out of my life and put my shoes away on the shoe rack.  If dogs even hear you thinking about leaving shoes out, you can practically guarantee those shoes will be gone by morning.  Just don’t do it.

Other Googles:

trader joes detox” (and variations thereon) – I did read in the latest flyer that TJ now sells a set of detox pills designed to take over a 2-week period.  I haven’t tried it, nor have I even seen it, but I put a lot of faith in TJ and trust that they wouldn’t sell a product that might be harmful.  As to its effectiveness, I can’t really say.  But I am willing to give it a try at some point in the future.

tiny dogs” – I have no tiny dogs!  My dogs are not tiny!  The husky alone is a big (to me) hulking bunch of fur who steps on me all the time.  I think I have found that I’m not even a fan of tiny dogs.  My dogs are just the right size that when they place their head in my lap, calmly and rarely, they emit enough heat to keep me warm.  Tiny dogs don’t do that.

tapas picasso happy hour monday” – Actually, Tapas Picasso holds their happy hour every day of the week, which makes it a pretty good happy hour.  I think it’s from 5 to 7 pm.  Get the fried potatoes and fried chorizo.  And the baked garlic (which isn’t on the happy hour menu but you get $1 off and it is so good).

That’s about it.  People search for funny things and I always wonder what they think when they click on a link and end up here.  I can’t be that helpful, I don’t think.  Except when it comes to the Mr. Hummos searches.  Because I have written a post!  It’s the most information on the internet concerning this eatery! 

Miscellaneous etcetera

Let’s see… right about now I should be somewhere along Mammoth Mountain, hopefully surviving the lift deboarding.  Really, getting off the lift is the most hazardous part of my snowboarding trips.  I can get down the mountain like a champ.  Sometimes, I can even execute a turn without getting stuck.  I still don’t do jumps or hops, though.  But getting off the lift?  Without falling or crashing into something/someone?  Let’s just say that the thought of the ski lift fills me with dread and worry and more stress than anything else on the mountain.

So, Google tells me that a lot of people find my site looking for “american eskimo dog” or some variation of that phrase.  Strangely, it seems like a lot of people are also looking for advice on shaving their American Eskimo dog.  Either that, or it’s just one person and they keep Googling to see if someone else’s page pops up.  I have never shaved Lexi, but we did shave Cassie last year.  She has very thick fur and the undercoat had gotten very matted – beyond brushing.  So, we took the logical step of shaving her fur so we could, in theory, start over from step one.  Let me just say this, if you are planning to shave your pretty American Eskimo, please understand that it may take the better part of a year for her soft fur to grow back in.  Cassie’s coarse fur has grown back, but her silky undercoat, the part that makes her soft and fluffy, is lagging.  She still looks cute, and we just pet her head a lot, but I do hope the rest of her coat comes back in okay.

People also come here looking for information on Mr. Hummos in Poway.  Trust me, I would love to know more, too.  So, if you get there before me, let me know what you think.  I’m trying to make it over there for food soon, we just haven’t had the time!

There are also some contests I should tell you about.  Swiffer, they of the environmentally-unfriendly yet awesome-at-collecting-dust cloths, is holding a video contest.  It’s called the “Swiffer Break-up Music Video Contest” and the Grand Prize is $15,000.  In conjunction with YouTube, you pick one of 10 “break-up” songs for your video and tell Swiffer how you left your old cleaning products for their neato cool stuff.  Upload the video by January 30, 2008 and then the general public will vote for their favorite clip.

The second thing really isn’t a contest.  If you sign up for the Fiber One newsletter, you can also choose to get a free sample of their new cereal, which is supposed to be high in fiber but low in calories.  Sign up here for the newsletter.

Also, the Deep Chocolate Vitatops are growing on me.  They still don’t fill the chocolate chip cookie craving, but they do make for a pretty good snack at work.  I’ve been trying to eat a small snack before lunch and then in the afternoon so I’m not starving at lunch and when I get home.  So, some fruit and a Vitatop are pretty good, especially since the Vitatop is only 100 calories.  Just make sure you have some hot tea or something to help wash it down.  Not that it tastes bad, but it’s a little dense – much like drinking milk to wash down brownies.  I’m still scared of the Fudgy Peanut Butter ones.  Perhaps I will give it another shot next week.

And, finally, if you are looking for information on Siberian Husky puppies, let me assure you that I don’t think my husky is at all typical.  I think most huskies are more energetic and maybe a little smarter.  Sadie is a little slow to catch on (like when the other two are already wolfing down food in the kitchen) and she seems pretty happy sleeping on the couch, but she’s a really good dog.  She sometimes gets a little too interested in Clair, but a bat to the head gets her to back off (Clair bats, I don’t).  So, when you hear people say that huskies and small non-dog animals don’t mix, it’s something to seriously take into consideration.

Goodbye, 2007…

Okay, before I get going on the required 2007-reflection, I have to point out that someone came to my little site by Googling “crushed eggshell toothpaste for sale” and I have to say, “What?!?” First, that sounds awful. Second, why not just crush up eggshells at home and rub them on your teeth? Ew.

I am borrowing this meme from SundryMourning, whose site I came upon for reasons unknown but I keep going back because she has a really cute kid and I like her SundryBuzz posts. Some of her questions require too much thought on my part so I am only anwering those I feel like. Because I can. So there.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Wow. I feel boring already… is there anything new that I did this year? Okay, I had to actually flip through my desk calendar to refresh my memory: I flew somewhere for a business meeting and spent less than 24 hours in Tucson, AZ; I had my wisdom teeth taken out (I guess you can really only do that once); I sold my condo; I joined a CSA; We attended a wine dinner at Thee Bungalow; and I went to Epcot for the first time.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t think I made resolutions in January. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t because I knew I wouldn’t keep them. I guess I will resolve to use our elliptical machine more often in 2008. And maybe brush the dogs more often.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Nope. But I’m totally waiting for friends to have kids because I think it’ll be fun to spoil them rotten. With love. Not with candy and toys and other materialistic goods, of course!
4. Did anyone close to you die? Not this year.
5. What countries did you visit? We did go to Scotland this year. And London (the city, in England the country).
6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? Umm… a properly landscaped backyard?
7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? I have nothing… my birthday’s a pretty good date (January 17); I guess T’s is, too (February 18). December 24th is cool because this was the first year we got the whole day off from work.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? I think I remained fairly civil and not-crazy as T learned to drive on the left side of the road in Scotland. On tiny one-lane roads, where “one lane” means one lane total, not one lane for each direction of traffic. We also managed to survive the crazy roundabouts, which is a huge achievements since it’s also on the “wrong” side of the road and going “backwards”!
9. What was your biggest failure? Me? Fail? Pssh… whatever.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Maybe a small cold or something.
11. What was the best thing you bought? The Elfa shoe rack assembly from The Container Store.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Our friend Ben became a registered engineer!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Dulci. Except it wasn’t depressing, just frustrating because she’s so cute and we love her, but it is not fun to be constantly steam cleaning everything. Poor thing, we had to rehome to to Vegas where she sleeps undisturbed on a bed, is bigger than all the dogs, gets fed kitty treats daily, and has her every whim attended to.
14. Where did most of your money go? I’m pretty sure it went to DSW for shoes and Ann Taylor Loft for clothes. And Petco for cleaning solution and pet food.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Being at Epcot for their Food and Wine Festival.
16. What song will always remind you of 2007? I don’t think there is one. Years from now, you could play any song and I would be hard pressed to associate it with one particular year.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer? Always happier, definitely fatter, and I guess richer?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish we had gone on more bike rides. Considering my bike wheels were always broken, I don’t think this was my fault.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Maybe watching less bad tv when there are dogs to brush and things to dust.
20. How did you spend Christmas? At home, with T and the dogs, in my pajamas all day long. It was so awesome.
21. Did you fall in love in 2007? I stayed in love, does that count?
22. What was your favorite TV program? Before or after the stupid writer’s strike? I think I really like Pushing Daisies on ABC.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nope. I’m a lover, not a hater.
24. What was the best book you read? David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Groucho, the singing African Grey parrot at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
26. What did you want and get? My own singing (sort of) parrot!
27. What did you want and not get? A new kitchen.
28. What was your favorite film of this year? I wouldn’t call it my favorite, but Transformers was the most enjoyable to watch due to the excitement.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 28 in 2007 and I have no idea what we did on my birthday. We probably went out to eat during San Diego Restaurant Week.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Winning the lottery without even playing? If my neighbors would stop hanging their kid over the fence, driving Lexi crazy, and then wondering why “the little white one” doesn’t like them?
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Cute, yet comfortable, and yes, I do wear heels with everything.
32. What kept you sane? Clair-bear. And T, the only person who knows I’m hungry before I do.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I don’t think I pay enough attention to them to care that much.
34. What political issue stirred you the most? Meh. Politics make no sense and you can spin any issue any way if you use the right words.
35. Who did you miss? I miss my grandma. When we were in Scotland I saw so many little things I think she would have liked.
36. Who was the best new person you met? I think I’m just glad I didn’t meet any new people that I can’t stand.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. If you have found someone who spoils your cat more than you do and allows your dog to lick him on the nose while getting mad only 1 in 5 occurences of said nose-licking, he is truly special.  Bonus points if he tells you that it’s really his fault you’re snippy and uncooperative because it’s his job to feed you so that you don’t get hungry-cranky!

Every year I marvel at how fast the months fly by, yet January 2007 seems like a lifetime ago. I’m sure 2008 will go by even faster.  Happy New Year!

Two things

Happy Black Friday!  I hope not too many of you got up at 4 am to stand in line, in the dark, to fight over a ridiculously discounted item.  Perhaps some of you decided to go the online route.  Perhaps other are thinking, like me, that you have other things to do instead of sweating over getting the absolute Greatest Deal Ever.  I was contemplating the Sears sale for a front-loading washer and dryer for only $999, but I guess our existing set works just fine. 

Anyway, I noticed someone googled “Reynolds Handi Vac doesn’t work” and got here and I’m not sure why.  Because I am a huge advocate of the Handi-Vac and think it works wonderfully!  I’ve now seen the sealer and bags at both Target and Wal-Mart (very similar in price, too, and cheaper than the grocery store).  Our green onions are still green – no hint of brown or anything else yucky!  The pita bread has been opened and resealed numerous times and it’s still “fresh” and the seal is still holding up extremely well.  T complains that the pita bread got smushed, but I’m not really sure how fluffy it was to begin with.

Now, it is tricky to get the wand nozzle situated correctly for optimal vacuuming.  Press too hard and the air flow is restricted; press too lightly and you don’t get a good seal.  But, you should be able to get it right after practicing only a few times.  I have noticed that when I sealed up the raw filets and flap steak, if meat juice came near the sealing spot, I had to open the bag, wipe dry that area and try again.  This is most likely why Reynolds doesn’t advocate sealing liquidy items.  But other than that, we haven’t had any problems and I’m loving this little item.  I have no desire to spend hundreds of dollars on a Food Saver now.

Interestingly enough, an ad from Bed Bath & Beyond came in the mail the other day and they advertised a wand vacuum sealer similar to the Reynolds Handi-Vac but theirs was $30!  And 5 quart bags cost $4!  For just under $3, you can buy a box of 15 Reynolds quart bags for the Handi-Vac.

There was also a google search for “how much a mini american eskimo sheds”.  Well, they shed a lot.  And it’s white fur, so it shows up on a lot of clothes, including jeans.  I have to say, though, I think Lexi sheds much more than Cassie.  You could brush them every day, but they’d still shed.  If I brush Lexi, I come away with a pile of fur.  Now, Sadie the Husky is the real shedder.  You look at her funny and her fur flies off!  I should be better about brushing them, but I’m just not.

If you already have an Eskie, it’s probably not going to be noticeable to add a second one.  And my argument still stands that if you have two dogs, a third really isn’t that much more work.  Except for the yard picking-up part.  But, if you have no dogs, you will definitely notice the fur in your house after getting just one.

Misc. stuff

Just some random notes…

T and I will be in Orlando later this week for the ASCE 137th Annual Civil Engineering Conference.  Woohoo!  3 days of speakers and sessions and meetings (especially for T).  We will be flying back Monday to give ourselves a bit of time to explore the wonders of Disney.  Like Epcot, during the Food and Wine Festival.  And the Animal Kingdom.  Because our schedules are a little out of sync (my sessions end Saturday morning, while T is in meetings all day Saturday), perhaps I will splurge and take a nice spa day, too.

Also, there have been some interesting Googles coming this way.  Instead of listing out the exact terms people are searching with, I’m just going to offer my notes and thoughts:

  • Method aroma sticks” smell good, look pretty, and are way cheaper than the ones you find in specialty stores.  If you can find the peppermint vanilla during the holiday, definitely buy it.
  • The only “quick brownies” I know of are the ones from the box, but even those take half an hour to bake.  Still, they’re decent brownies.  There are microwaveable cakes and brownies, taking a couple minutes to “cook” but I’m skeptical of how tasty they are and if it’s really worth the time saved.
  • Yes, we have a “three dog household” + 2 cats (so it’s a full house, ha ha!) and there’s a lot of fur around here.  Thank goodness we’re not allergic to anything.
  • For crying out loud, go buy some tasty things from “Nothing Bundt Cakes” already.  Especially the one on Scripps Poway Parkway, because I want that store to stick around for a long time.  Even though they close at 6pm and I’m sometimes not even home by then.
  • The “Costco plastic cutlery” comes in a box with forks, knives, and spoons and they are quite sturdy.  If you’re not careful, you could actually hurt yourselves with the knives.  Handy for parties because you get, like, hundreds of the things.
  • Be Wise Ranch” has resumed deliveries, the owners lost their home, they are rebounding very well, and don’t you dare ask them for a refund for that one missed week!
  • “Chef Gavin Kaysen” was eliminated on TNIC (so not his fault due to the melted ice washing away his salt), he is leaving El Bizcocho for New York, and he’s still cute.
  • “caramel corn using cheese puffs recipes” – see here
  • We have two “mini american eskimo” pups here, hence the need for the “Roomba for Pets”.  They are barky dogs, shed a lot of fur, surprisingly don’t get dirty (it seems to just fall off them), and have very funny personalities.  Lexi is our circus dog and can stand on her hind legs for a long time.  Cassie is just a love bug and if I had to grab one thing to save from this house it would be her.  Because T would grab Clair.  I’m kidding.  Kinda.

See you when we get back!