Month: November 2011 (page 1 of 8)

Little Printer | BERG Cloud

Little Printer | BERG Cloud – I can’t decide how I feel about this. It’s obviously some pretty cool technology, and the design is great. But thermal printing a mini-newspaper for myself each morning seems so deliberately anachronistic. Like, why wouldn’t I just look at that stuff on my phone? This might actually be TOO HIP for me.

It’s time.

It’s time.
*sniff* I think I got something in my eye.

The Cinnamon Bear: An Old-Time Radio Christmas Tradition

The Cinnamon Bear: An Old-Time Radio Christmas Tradition – Neat! I’m sure my sister and brother will be interested in this for their kids. Wonder Woman Snuggie Wonder Woman Snuggie – Also going on the Christmas list…

Retro Space Age Stockings

Retro Space Age Stockings – These are AWESOME. I think I might need to make a couple for us.


StumbleUpon Traffic Deluge
Last week my spam radar went off when my site received some innocuous-looking comments from random visitors. I couldn’t see that they were promoting anything, so I approved them. Curious, I went to Google Analytics to see if I could spot where they’d come from. HOLY CRAP, my site traffic was going BERZERK. What the–? On Wednesday November 16th alone, I had over 21,000 visits! That’s more than fifty times my regular audience.


It didn’t take long to find out what had happened. Somebody submitted one of my posts to StumbleUpon and the floodgates opened. In one week, I got over 76,000 hits from them. And what was the post? This one with the embedded YouTube video of “25 Ways to Tie a Scarf.” It’s not even my content! I simply shared it. The comments kept coming though, and people seemed to think that I was the girl in the video (even though I’d included a link to the site where it’s from). Eventually I edited the post to add a disclaimer, but it hasn’t helped much.

So what’s the fallout from this? That big surge of traffic looks nice, but most of the visitors didn’t click on any other page on the site. I doubt they’ll turn into repeat visitors. Since the post was so recent, I didn’t even have Google Ads on it – I only show them on posts over two weeks old – so I didn’t earn any money from it. I had to deal with a lot of very dumb comments from people who don’t read very closely. (I have to say, I don’t have a very high opinion of StumbleUpon users after this.) On the plus side, I’m very happy that Quadrahosting seems to have handled the extra traffic just fine. Bring on a slashdotting! (Just kidding.)


Thanksgiving 2011Thanksgiving 2011
This was a highlight in my otherwise crappy week. The Snook and I had planned to have a simple Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday night after work. On Wednesday though, I decided it would be more fun to make it an impromptu dinner party. My American friends Josh and Jamie didn’t have anything planned, and Kunaal is always up for a gathering. So in the end we had quite a merry little party! I made slow cooker turkey legs, homemade green bean casserole, and gingery carrots. Josh and Jamie brought mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and bread rolls, and Kunaal brought fruit pies. And afterwards, we had a rousing game of Settlers of Catan. I’m thankful to have been able to celebrate the day with such good friends!

Read on for photos and links to the recipes I used.Here’s Kunaal, Jamie, and Josh just before dinner.

Before dinner

I’d never made green bean casserole before, so I figured I’d go all out with Martha Stewart’s recipe. Instead of canned soup, you make the mushroom sauce from scratch. I didn’t bother frying my own shallots though; we had a bag of them from the Asian store. This turned out SO GOOD. I should’ve made more of it since we devoured every bit!

Green bean casserole

I knew I wanted to have turkey, but it’s difficult to cook a whole bird when you don’t have the day off work. So instead I settled for slow cooker turkey legs. That morning I layered some onions in the bottom of the crock pot and then packed in six turkey legs. Each leg was drizzled with olive oil, salt, pepper, and sage. I also chucked in some sprigs of thyme. They cooked all day on low, and they were just about falling off the bone ten hours later. Not bad at all! The Snook also used the onion and pan drippings to make a quick gravy as well.

Turkey legs

Jamie and Josh brought mashed sweet potatoes, which were very tasty. I believe this recipe was from Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals!

Mashed potatoes

For the other side dish, I made Gingery Glazed Carrots. They turned out pretty well, despite a minor hiccup with the recipe. (I think I had too much liquid, as it never quite reduced as much as it was supposed to.)


Kunaal and the Snook enjoying their dinner.

Kunaal and Snookums

Jamie and Josh at the table. I surprised them by having the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on the TV. (It was a bit-torrented version from 2008, but still.)

Jamie and Josh

After the feasting, we broke out Settlers of Catan. Kunaal and Jamie were new to it but picked it up quickly. Fun way to end the night!

Settlers of Catan

RunningBlog: Weeks 46-47

Weeks 46-47
Here, practically at the end of the year, the wheels have well and truly come off. As you can imagine, being sick has hampered my running. I haven’t hit the road in nearly two weeks. I’m meant to begin marathon training on December 1st, so I’m really hoping to get over this in the next few days.

Nov. 12: 2.19km (walking)
Nov. 13: 10.58km
Nov. 14: 2.88km (walking)
Nov. 14: 2.97km (walking)
Nov. 15: 5.75km
Total this week: 0! The dreaded donut!
Total in 2011: 969.96km (606.2mi)

To meet my goal of running 1100km in 2011, I should be at 994km right now. Ouch. A full 24km behind pace. It’s moving beyond my grasp…


The reason I’ve been relatively quiet all week is that I’ve been SICK. It started a week ago on Sunday when I was really run down and sleepy, to the point where I even took a nap (which I never do). On Monday I woke up with a fever and sore throat. I stayed home Monday and Tuesday, thinking it was just a cold that would clear up with rest. I dragged myself to work Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to trick myself into feeling normal. By Friday, my sore throat was still raging (to the point where it was difficult to sleep). So I went to the doctor Friday with a suspected case of strep throat. He gave me antibiotics and sent me home again. So I’ve had another two days of pretty much lying prone on the couch, and I still don’t feel very good. My throat is still sore; I still feel exhausted; and the mucus in my throat has caused a bone-rattling cough. This really sucks.

Our Bella, Ourselves | The Hairpin

Our Bella, Ourselves | The Hairpin – Excellent essay reclaiming the Twilight books into the feminist canon. Oh sure, they’re poorly written and some of the plot turns are incredibly cheesy. But they also address adolescence in a way that many women find more honest than Buffy and Katniss. They also tap into very real fears about pregnancy, gestation, and birth, ones that I’ll admit I share. So yeah, it annoys me a little when people (who haven’t even read them) slag them off as literary trash. They wouldn’t be so popular if they didn’t speak some truths, even if they’re ones we don’t like to hear.