Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Knitting - A "Jumbo" Cardigan from 1954

1954 cardigan UPDATE: ok, finally and not the way I wanted, but here it is.

Well, heck. The photo won't load, but this week's project is a nice lady's cardigan from from Bernat Handicrafter Jumbo Knits for the Family, 1954. Instructions on my Flickr account.

Slow connection tonight (ah, the joys of living in the country and getting your Internet from a transmitter on top of the grain elevator). I'll try again tomorrow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sharp Objects

Colleague: (shouting from another office) I need a Phillips head screwdriver!

Me: (helpfully) I have a Swiss army knife.

Colleague: Why am I not surprised?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Everyone's A Comedian

A small commuter jet flying from Georgia, where the azaleas and dogwoods are blooming and it's 80 degrees, back to central Illinois. The captain comes on the intercom.

Flight Officer: ...and the local weather forecast is for 15-mile an hour winds out of the north, heavy snow, and a wind-chill of -37 (pause). Just kidding, folks!

We should have stormed the cockpit and forced him to turn the plane around and fly it back to Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You and What Army?

I attended a conference session today on pet-friendly radiation decon stations, and almost had to leave the room when I started thinking of taking the Drama Queen through one.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Georgia Gets Another Crack At Me

I'm back in Atlanta at the CDC all this week for a conference on Radiation Emergency Preparedness.

(It's actually been scheduled for four months, but talk about timing...)

Friday, March 18, 2011

She Might Want To Re-Think This

Our Public Information Officer has scheduled me to give a talk to some local sixth graders on careers in emergency management.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Good News/Bad News

I don't have a cracked rib. I have pleurisy.

I'm off to spend forty-eight hours with my old friend, Vic O'Din.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Damn, damn, damn

I think I just cracked another rib.

The Convalescent Diet

First Day

Breakfast. Poached Egg on Toast. Cocoa.

Lunch. Milk-punch.

Dinner. Raw Oysters. Cream-crackers. Port Wine.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Hot Beef Broth.

Supper. Milk Toast. Wine Jelly. Tea.

Second Day

Breakfast. Soft-cooked Egg. Milk Toast. Coffee with Sugar and Cream.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Soft Custard.

Dinner. Cream-of-celery Soup. Sippets. A little Barley Pudding, with Cream. Sherry Wine.

Lunch. Milk-punch.

Supper. Water Toast, Buttered. Wine Jelly. Tea.

Third Day

Breakfast. Scrambled Egg. Cream Toast. Cocoa.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Hot Chicken Broth.

Dinner. Chicken Panada. Bread. Port Wine. A little Tapioca Cream.

Lunch. An Egg-nog.

Supper. Buttered Dry Toast. Baked Sweet Apples and Cream Tea.

Fourth Day

Breakfast. An Orange. Farina Mush, with Cream and Sugar.

Poached Egg on Toast. Baked Potato. Cocoa.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Hot Soft Custard.

Dinner. Potato Soup. Croutons. A small Piece of Beefsteak. Creamed Potatoes.

Baked Custard. Coffee.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Chicken Broth, with Rice.

Supper. Raw Oysters. Banquet Crackers. Graham Bread, Toasted. Wine Jelly. Tea.

Fifth Day

Breakfast.An Orange.Coffee. Mush of Wheat Germ, with Cream and Sugar. Broiled Mutton Chop. Toast.

Lunch. 1 Cup of Mulled Wine.

Dinner. Chicken Soup. Bread.Creamed Sweetbreads. Duchess Potato.Snow Pudding. Cocoa.

Lunch. Siphon Soda, with Coffee Syrup and Cream.

Supper. Buttered Dry Toast. Orange Jelly. Sponge Cake and Cream. Tea.

From A Handbook of Invalid Cooking, by Mary Boland (at Google Books. And what is with all the raw oysters? There's only one ailment I know of for which raw oysters are recommended, and I can't mention it on a family blog).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Did You Know?

Jazz saxophone, played at just the right decibel level, will make a German Shepherd howl?

(The Drama Queen was most displeased. It woke her up).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gone Are The Days

I used to be a stoic. In fact, I once completed a twenty mile hike with a sprained ankle. And a few years ago, at grad school, I sat through a three-hour class with a broken arm.

Not any more. I hurt and everybody knows it. I'm coughing so much they had me come back for a chest xray this afternoon. Every time I breathe in, I feel like the 19th Indiana Regimental Band is tapping out Hell on the Wabash on my ribcage.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dies Irae

I've decided that the songs I want played at my memorial service must include The Battle Hymn of the Republic, The Green Hills, and Men of Harlech. This means the spousal unit is going to have to find a Welsh male choir in the middle of Illinois, but that’s his problem.

(And the Marines’ Hymn. THAT goes without saying).

Vintage Travel - Amalfi

More lovely, sunny, copyright-free artwork from Dover.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Modern Marvels

One of the labor-saving devices touted during the early years of the last century was a little treasure known as a fireless cooker. This was a device that allowed the housewife to complete the first two or three steps of a dish and then ignore it for several hours. If it sounds like a slow-cooker, it’s because there are several similarities, including a savings in fuel and the chance for a homemaker to fix a proper (i.e. hot) meal without steaming herself right out of the kitchen during the summer months.

The basic concept called for the dish – let’s say a poached chicken – to be assembled, brought to a boil over the conventional stove, and then popped into an insulated box that would allow it to cook slowly for ten or twelve hours. When it was taken from the fireless cooker, only a few last minute touches would still be needed; say, making gravy or cutting up the meat.

A meal of the afore-mentioned poached chicken, mashed potatoes, stewed green beans and creamed onions could all be prepared in the fireless cooker (if you had one that accommodated four containers). Even desserts and some breads could be made ahead of time – anything that didn’t require the crispness of broiling or frying, in fact.

The Fireless Cook Book, available for free download at archive.org, has recipes as well as instructions on how to make your own fireless cooker. I personally wouldn’t want to try oatmeal that’s been cooked overnight, but I’m considering some of the other recipes for adaptation to a slow-cooker. This one looks pretty good.

Black Bean Soup

1 pt black beans
2 qts water
1 small onion
2 stalks celery or ¼ t celery salt
2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
¼ t mustard
3 T butter
1 ½ T flour
2 hard-cooked eggs
1 lemon

"Soak the beans over night, drain them and add the two quarts of water. Cook the onion in one-half the butter; add onion and celery to the beans, and when boiling, put them into a cooker for from eight to twelve hours. Rub the soup through a strainer, add the seasonings, bind it, and when it has boiled for five minutes pour it over the sliced eggs and lemon in a soup tureen."

Pregnant Pause

I have been asked by another divisional director if he can use Thing 2 for a few hours per week during a period in which he is going to be short-staffed. It would be an interesting project for Thing 2, and I have no objection, so I called him into my office.

Me: Hey, need to talk to you about something -- Dave* stopped by to see me this afternoon about a situation down in XYZ Division. I think you know that Kate* is going on maternity leave?

Thing 2: I had nothing to do with that.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Levee en Masse

Several colleagues came after me this morning (I guess everyone’s getting tired of the third act of Camille coming from my office) and demanded I go to the doctor.

I have bronchitis, which isn’t surprising, but I’m kinda cranky that on my way out of the doc's, I had such a bad coughing attack that something went “poing” across the top of my ribcage and man, now it hurts.