Random (but not really)

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


17,882 words so far. I didn’t write at all over the break, but I’m doing better now.

However, I did finish another term paper as well as an associated presentation. So it wasn’t a complete waste.

I discovered that I get my basic ideas and lines when I walk, and then put it all together when I’m done. So apparently I just need to walk to get ideas flowing. The problem from there is just finding the time to write everything down.

Written by Michelle at 12:23 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Still Think that Cheeseburger Looks Good?

Liver diseases, including cirrhosis, are increasingly being seen in overweight teenagers, experts report.

Cirrhosis, irreparable liver damage, is commonly linked with alcohol misuse, but can also be caused by a fatty diet.

Lifelong liver damage from a poor diet.

Think about that as you consider those upcoming Christmas cookies.

Written by Michelle at 5:39 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Science, Health & Nature  

Garden Gnomes Gather

I love things like this:

Police on Victoria’s west coast have taken 18 garden gnomes back to their station after finding them on the side of the road.

The gnomes were found around 5:30am AEDT, lined up at a pedestrian crossing on Pertobe Road in Warrnambool.

But I especially love that everyone involved seems to have a sense of humor.

“They are all happy, I have given them a cup of tea and they are minding their business at the moment,” he said.

“Well we’ve got the gnomes back here at the police station at the moment – unfortunately we were unable to fingerprint them,” he said.

(Story that first caught my attention years ago, here.)

Written by Michelle at 11:45 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Things that Go Boom! Pow! Klang!

This is both useful and interesting: The Box O’ Truth.

That’s the kind of hobby I’d like to have. But more importantly, it’s useful in debunking myths about things gun can and cannot do.

Now I want to either move into a brick house, or line the walls of my house with sand.

Written by Michelle at 8:29 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Uncategorized  

Saturday, November 26, 2005


There was a bit this morning, just as I woke up, on the health aspects of forgiveness.

One comment was that if you forgive someone, and they don’t apologize in response, then what’s the point?

The reply was (in essence) that forgiveness is not to get a response out of the other person who has hurt you, but for you yourself, so you can get on with your life.

It made me think about times I’ve seen, primarily from “evangelical Christians,” people who will often speak openly about “forgiving you” for your transgression/sin/whatever. They’re often quite blunt and in the face about it, stepping right up to get that other cheek slapped.

I don’t think they have it right any more that the person who wanted an apology in response to their forgiveness. From where I’m standing, they don’t look like they actually forgive. They’re just trying to look better than their transgressor. It comes across as “look what a good Christian I am! I’m forgiving my enemies, just like Jesus said!” Which seems to be missing the point entirely.

They are openly forgiving those who have trespassed against them, yet who quite obviously do not want or need to hear abot that forgiveness, and who in many cases see that “forgiveness” as yet another slap in the face; a part of the original argument.

If you forgive someone–truly forgive someone–who has hurt you or upset you, do you always need to tell that person you have forgiven them? Is that the only way for them to know that you have forgiven them?

It seems to me that the answer is no, you don’t, and in some cases, if make a point to tell the person that you are forgiving them, then you aren’t really forgiving them at all. Forgiveness is something that happens to you. Often something you have to work very hard to achieve. Forgiveness is not just something that occurs when you say the words.

“I forgive you.”

Sometimes, yes, you do need to say those words. To let the person know that enough water has passed under the bridge. To let them know (to quote Concrete Blonde), “I’m not angry anymore.”

But I don’t think that is the case for all situations. And I don’t think that in most cases when the words are still hot on your tongue–or hot in your ears–that forgiveness is what is called for.

Sometimes, when you think that you need to give forgiveness, maybe what you need to give is an apology. Or maybe you just need to step back from the situation, to give everyone room to breathe and room to consider. Then later, when you’ve come to terms with the situation, that is the time to forgive. That’s the time for you to move on with your life, to forgive, regardless of whether the other person knows or not.

Written by Michelle at 8:36 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Religion & Philosophy  

Friday, November 25, 2005


For those keeping track, (that would be me) my total number of books read so far this year is 139. That’s up from 115 total last year.

However, I read a lot more comics this year, and I can read most comic compilations in less than an hour. And no year tracks the number of books and journal articles I had to read for school.

So the number of books read may not accurately reflect the volume of reading material for the year.

And now, I must decide what I want to read next.

Written by Michelle at 11:04 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

The Queen of the South

The Queen of the South (2002) Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Translated by Andrew Hurley

The Queen of the SouthIf you’d like to know the power of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s writing, pick up this book, read a few pages, then put the book down and try to forget the story. A couple of months ago I picked up a book, thought it looked interesting, but decided to get it later, since I already had enough books that day. But the book stuck with me, and I decided that I had to read the story.

So I spent two months trying to find the book that stuck in my head. I flipped through every Arturo Pérez-Reverte book I could find in the mystery section to no luck. I then decided that I must have misremembered the author, and was stuck trying to figure out what book I picked up and then foolishly put down.

Read More about The Queen of the South

Written by Michelle at 10:11 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  

Thursday, November 24, 2005


I’m thankful for lots of things. Today, most of them are edible.

On an on-going basis, I’m thankful for my health, and my family, and my husband. Not necessarily in that order.

ADDENDUM the First:
Plus apple pie. I may explode.

Written by Michelle at 9:00 am      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Sweet Potato Pie

(First time I tried this recipe. Hope it’s good)
Pre-baked pie crust (This is a good excuse to buy ceramic pie weights if you don’t already have them)
3 large sweet potatoes (4 was too many) You’ll want ~2 cups cooked sweet potato.
1 cup evaporated milk (half and half should work)
1 cup sugar (I think I may try brown sugar next time)
4 eggs
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp molasses
2 to 4 tbsp bourbon
Fresh whipped cream

Bake pie crust ~20 minutes at 400 F. Parchment paper may be better under the pie weights than waxed paper.

Stab sweet potatoes repeatedly with sharp object, such as fork. Cook sweet potatoes in the microwave 5 minutes, turn potatoes, cook 5 minutes longer. Let sit at least 10 minutes.

Scoop innards out of sweet potatoes with spoon. Put into large mixing bowl. Mix ingredients. (I used electric mixer, for I am lazy.) Pour ingredients into pie crust. Bake 20 minutes at 400 F. Lower temperature to 325, and bake 20 more minutes. Serve warm with fresh whipped cream.

ADDENDUM the First:
Cook the potatoes a little longer, half the bourbon, and a dash more molasses.

ADDENDUM the Second:
31 Dec 2005
Potatoes cooked 6 minutes, 6 minutes, rest 10 minutes.
Brown sugar instead instead of white sugar
3 tbsp bourbon
1 tbsp maple syrup instead of molasses

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  

Pumpkin Pie

8″ or 9″ pie crust
2 cups fresh pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 eggs (2 is the pumpkin is liquidy)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
Fresh whipped cream

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all ingredients together in mixer. Pour into pie shell. Pie crust shields are your friends. Bake 50-60 minutes.

Warm before serving with fresh whipped cream.

Written by Michelle at 8:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Food  
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