TNN: Foot Pain

Almost by accident, my recent web surfing led me to an article that is perfect for my “That’s Not Normal!” thread. I recently attended the Austin February Twitter Happy Hour. I was perusing the list of attendees, looking in particular at other writers and their websites, and I came across this article, “Hitting A Nerve”. The author had experienced a lifetime of foot pain which became particularly severe when her career led to jobs that required standing all day. Only when she was thirty did she discover she had a congenital defect in her feet, one normally detected at birth. Had the author known about it, she might have made many different life choices.

Foot pains like those described by the author of that article are not normal, not part of most human being’s experience. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb here and say any recurring severe or excruciating pain without an obvious cause is not normal and merits investigation until the cause is found.

Farmville Fun

Duck, Duck, Goose!

Duck, Duck, Goose on Farmville

Mechanically Separated Rabbit

Harvesting and Separating Rabbits

I used Google as a lazy spell checker and actually found many serious articles about Mechanically Separated Rabbit. They didn’t use a combine harvester though.

Farmville Drought

I made this image for use in a humorous fake news article entitled “Farmville Experiencing Drought: Virtual Dust Bowl Looming?” The cow skull pays homage to a classic photo from the dust bowl era. However, while the concept is funny and the image is good, I haven’t been able to create a consistently funny article using them, despite a fair amount of thought. (Of course, even The Onion frequently has this problem; recall Mad Magazine’s parody of the Onion that accurately skewered them with the article “Area Man Finds Headline Amusing But That’s About It”.)

Farmer in Dust Choked Field, next to Pink Cow Skull

[News Article Caption:] Farmville Super Shoveler Robert Martin in his barren, dust choked fields. He’s already lost this week’s crops and most of his cattle to the drought. The special bonus pink cows that give strawberry milk were the first to die. “Some bonus,” lamented Martin.

Another Guide to Facebook's Newest Home Page

The designers at Facebook clearly skipped the section on interface stability in their User Interface Design textbook. This last interface change has been a mess, accompanied by all sorts of glitches. They’ve provided A Guide to Facebook’s Home Page, but I thought I could make a more accurate one for my readers. The low resolution picture below provides another link to the full size version.

Recipe: Hash Brown Crust Western Quiche

My blog continues to pull me in new and odd directions. I promised I would post recipes and cooking advice, and so I am. Most of the recipes I will post were developed by me entirely; a few started from an existing recipe but evolved so far that they’re no longer recognizably the same. You may ask how I learned to develop recipes like this. To some degree, I’ve simply learned from experience, but my cooking expertise was greatly enhanced by the book “CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed” by Shirley O. Corriher. This book explains what is happening at a chemical level during cooking and how each ingredient contributes to a recipe. It’s a great resource for informed experimentation.

As I mentioned in my article for Libra Fitness about controlling my sugar intake, protein is important for maintaining steady blood sugar levels to reduce sugar cravings. That’s particularly true first thing in the morning. I am not a morning person by inclination, and I always wake up hungry. It’s thus essential for me to pre-prepare healthy breakfast foods that require minimal effort in the morning. I make large batches of breakfast taco filling (a dozen eggs at a time), but that became tiresome as my only option. I thought about quiches, but most quiches use a pastry crust, which requires non-trivial effort to make from scratch properly. (I haven’t seen any pre-made pie crusts with organic ingredients in a store, just the Pillsbury brand.) Then I saw a recipe for a hash brown casserole, which gave me the idea to experiment with using hash browns to make a crust.

Continue reading Recipe: Hash Brown Crust Western Quiche

Groundhog Day

Happy Sausage (i.e., Ground Hog) Day! {Obligatory bad pun groan from readers.}

The traditional Groundhog’s Day belief says that, if a hibernating animal sees its shadow that day, winter will last another six weeks. If there’s no shadow, spring will come early.

However, when I was growing up in Michigan, I always interpreted the phrase “six more weeks of winter” in the opposite way. I thought the groundhog seeing his shadow was a good thing: there will be only six more weeks of winter! In Michigan, winter weather could easily persist for eight or more weeks! It wasn’t until I moved to Texas that I encountered the notion that him seeing his shadow was bad, because winter weather will endure for six more weeks instead of ending earlier. Perspective is everything sometimes.

My best guess at the “underlying meteorology” of the traditional view is this: At the peak of winter in the Midwest, it is actually clear more than cloudy — there’s too little moisture in the air to have clouds when it’s that cold. But it tends to get cloudy when the winter weather is breaking. Thus, if he sees his shadow, we’re still in the grip of the peak of winter; otherwise winter is starting to fade.

Winter Morning Haiku

My friend Jonas M. recently posted this haiku as his Facebook status (re-posted here with his gracious permission):

His winter finger
Choked off the voice of morning

This seemed rather inscrutable, until I read his immediate comment:

(Sweetie, I’m sorry I turned off the alarm in my sleep.)

His girlfriend was not amused, but the rest of us were!