Posts Categorized: tidbits

Tidbits: Struggling, Gluten-Free, Arty Rails App, et al

Hi all, I have many blog post ideas for your reading pleasure, but I promised myself that I would finish (at least iteration #1) my Ruby on Rails app before I blogged several of the big posts living in my head. In the meantime, I present TidBits:
1) Yes, I am working on my first real live Ruby on Rails app. It is an art / image management system that will blog and manage both images and text. I am doing it specifically for artists Dan Callis and Ryan Callis, but we will see if it will be useful for other artists and photographers. I also finally made the decision about what hosting company to deploy my rails app on, the aptly named: Railsplayground.com.
2) NY Times has an excellent article on Gluten-Free dining: For the Gluten-Averse, a Menu That Works
3) Struggling… Since January, I have been struggling with the return of migraine headaches. I have had them in cyclical bursts in the past, but changes in allergy diet or environmental factors have chased them away. But instead of going away with the elimination of chocolate, caffeine, fluorescent lights, and other triggers, the migraines have stepped up frequency to every week or two. I have brought my art table and chair out of storage, as both are very adjustable, for the best ergonomic set up while working. All efforts to no avail. The headaches keep showing up.
I went to my primary care physician at Kaiser and she just put me on Maxalt but did not have the time nor interest to help me figure out what the new triggers could be. Maxalt works great and will clear the pain away in less than 30 minutes, but I can’t drive or really work on my computer for a day or two upon taking it, as it makes me dreamy and unfocused. Being dreamy and unfocused when trying to code does not really work.
In the past my headaches go away and stay away for years, if I eliminate allergen foods out of my diet. To that end, I have an appointment with Dr. Lena Kian N.D. tomorrow.
4) If you are out and about and need to calculate a tip, Aaron Gustafson has created a great little mobile app: Tipr

Elf Counsel

Somehow I surfed / researched from the BBC’s 100 things we didn’t know last year item #32* to Behind the Name.
At Behind the Name, I have discovered that the good, solid, stoic, old fashioned name of Alfred, means Elf Counsel in Old English. This makes my day.
Furthermore, Algar means elf spear, Alvar means elf army, and Alvin (or Alwyn) is elf friend. Please name your boy children accordingly.

*32. Barbie’s full name is Barbie Millicent Roberts.
Millicent! It conjures up a Connecticut W.A.S.P. Stepford Wife in my mind. Millicent means work strength.

Electric Kettle

Electric Kettle

During my year in Dublin, I got very used to the convenience of the purple Morphy electric hot water kettle in my apartment’s kitchen. I found a variety of uses for the less than one minute to boil hot water that the Morphy cooked up beyond just a cup of tea, like unstopping a drain, boiling water in the kettle quickly and then making pasta which reduces prep time, pouring the boiled water over chopped veggies in a strainer for insta-blanched veggies to go over rice, etc.
Since returning to Calif., I have missed insta-hot water and have looked around at various stores for a hot water kettle only to be very surprised that Ranch 99 carried a variety of rice cookers but not a single water kettle. Yesterday, I went to Long’s Drug Store near my brother’s house for some cleaning supplies and in walking to the cleaning supplies I walked past the electric home appliance section and found two different brands of kettles.
Both types of kettles are of thinner plastic and do not seem to be as sound as the Morphy brand in Ireland, and the one I did end up buying is not quite as fast as the Morphy. But the good news is that the above kettle that I did buy is a lot better than attempting to boil a cup of water in the microwave and then buring myself as I try to get it out of the microwave. Yes, I do have a metal kettle for the stove, but it is in a box in the garage, somewhere…

Why Jen(n)ifers Rock…

From Mommy Needs CoffeeIce Cream, Wine, Midol, and Tampons all while educating the nice youth of America:

“Jerry, take a look in my basket. Go ahead. Look.”
He glances in the basket and then nervously back at me.
“Jerry, what do you see? Go on. This isn’t rhetorical. Tell me what you see.”
Jerry is looking a tad bit freaked out by me and is trying to nonchalantly glance around for a manager, but he answers me anyway.
“Uhhh…Midol, Ice Cream, tampons (serious blush for him), a magazine and a big bottle of wine.”
I look at him hard. “Very good, Jerry. Now tell me, does that look like the basket of a woman you should really be messing with right now.”
*blank stare*
“Tell me, Jerry, do you have a girlfriend?”

On Reading and Black Holes

112404stbrigitsdog.jpg
Photo of St. Brigit’s dog by Ms. Jen, Nov. 2004.

I love a good internet black hole on a Sunday afternoon. Start with an idea or site one wants to find (Today: info on the Ballad of the Lady of Walsingham) and end two hours later up at a great academic resource page (USC’s Matrix Home) whilst looking for the historical St. Brigit, opposed to the mythic St. Brigit.
I am currently reading Robert Graves’ The White Goddess : A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth, and his breakdown of the ancient Indo-European-Greco-Celtic-Biblical myths on the Goddess, The Muse, Poetry, and Myth is is engaging and a good read, if not more than a bit confusing for those of us who are not scholars of Greek and Indo-European gods. While Graves does not address, at least so far, his contemporary Jung’s theories on myth – the concepts dovetail nicely.
I have been googling names of books and ballads that Graves’ references to build his case, and thus found myself in the Martrix. Scruffy is chasing spiders along the top of the couch. Welcome to a June gloomy afternoon in Orange…

Well, My hands shake a lot…

Gail linked to the Belief-O-Matic quiz. I took it and guess I should be a Quaker, does it count that the Vineyard came out of the Yorba Linda Friends (Quaker) church?

Your Results:
The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.
Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking.
1. Orthodox Quaker (100%)
2. Seventh Day Adventist (88%)
3. Eastern Orthodox (86%)
4. Roman Catholic (86%)
5. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (82%)
6. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (81%)
7. Liberal Quakers (64%)
8. Hinduism (58%)
9. Orthodox Judaism (54%)
10. Unitarian Universalism (54%)
11. Bah�’� Faith (50%)
12. Jehovah’s Witness (45%)
13. Islam (45%)
14. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (42%)
15. Sikhism (42%)
16. Reform Judaism (40%)
17. Neo-Pagan (36%)
18. Jainism (35%)
19. Secular Humanism (29%)
20. New Age (28%)
21. Mahayana Buddhism (25%)
22. Theravada Buddhism (23%)
23. Taoism (22%)
24. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (19%)
25. Scientology (17%)
26. Nontheist (16%)
27. New Thought (13%)

I have had a few liberal Quaker friends over the years, but no Orthodox Quaker friends. I thought I would tip out on the traditional Anglican before Quaker… hmmm….
Funny thing… many of my friends have departed from evangelical or charasmatic churches for Eastern Orthodoxy and a few for Catholicism over the last ten years. A few of us have hung in there at a Vineyard or similar church have migrated to small bible studies or to small groups of arts oriented folk.
I have been burnt out on all things evangelical ever since Bush’s first run for office in 2000. Just hearing much of the rote American evangelical party line gives me a case of the hives. Out of fear that Lance and the Vineyard Anaheim would promote the Reds, I stopped going to church for a good month or so before the election and today was my first sunday back. Chicken, I know, but I was just not up for it. It was enough to be teaching a class at Biola on election night. balk, balk, balk, balk…
[Side note: Does it strike anyone, besides me, funny in a good ironic way that after 40 some-odd years of rabid anti-communism that the Republicans are now proud to be “Red” states? Pinkos.]