Friday, January 30, 2015

Things That Go "Boom"

The following email exchange occurs after I get a request asking me to act as an exercise controller for an active shooter drill on campus that will involve the county sheriff and three police departments. I forward it to Sean*.

Me:  I suppose you'd like to come along...they're going to blow the hell out of the old dorms on Main Street. 

He:  Helllllll Yes.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Location, Location, Location

In the management staff meeting one of the topics of discussion is finding a new place for the breast-feeding room, which is currently in a space we need for files storage. We occupy the bottom three floors of our building and space is at a premium.  A number of places are reviewed and rejected when suddenly --

Immunization Division Manager:  I know; that little room down in the STD clinic where you store all the condoms.

Acting Head of Communicable Disease Division:  That would work, if we rearranged some of the shelves.

Assistant Administrator:  So, we'll put the new breast-feeding room in the condom room then?

Me (giggling madly):  Oh, the irony.

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Monday, January 12, 2015

Vintage Advertising - Old Dutch Cleanser

From Good Housekeeping magazine, August 1919.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stretching Exercises

An uninvited guest is worse than a Turk. ~ Bulgarian proverb.*

My mother was an excellent cook, although her culinary efforts when I was growing up were mostly focused on feeding nine people on an assistant professor's salary.  She was pretty good at making things go just a little bit further when, as often happened, there were a few extra mouths waiting at the dinner table.

(It may have been the pool table my dad kept in the living room, or it may have been my four sports-mad brothers, but our home was a magnet for kids of all ages. When I was in college, I once conned a friend into baby-sitting for me on a weekend when my parents had left me in charge.  I returned to a full house and a dazed-looking pal who asked me, "How many brothers and sisters do you have, exactly?")

This is one of my mother's more elastic dishes, recreated from memory, and it's also very good.

Keilbasa and Lentils

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 or 2 sticks celery, with leaves, chopped
1 or 2 carrots, chopped
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 bay leaf
1 package of keilbasa, sliced very thin so there's enough to go around
2 cups lentils, washed and picked over
1 can of diced tomatoes 
6 cups of water
Salt to taste

Heat the oil and saute together the onion, celery and carrot until they begin to be fragrant.  The celery and carrot are optional but add a nice flavor.  Add the garlic, bay leaves, keilbasa, lentils, tomatoes and water.  DO NOT ADD SALT YET.

Bring to a boil, turn it to low and let it simmer for 45 minutes or so.  Check it after half an hour and add another cup of water if need be.  You want to keep the water just above the lentils.

When the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaf, add salt to taste, and serve with bread and butter, a big pot of rice, and some kind of green vegetable.  This will serve six amply.

If Turks or a bunch of hockey players show up, add another cup of lentils, another can of tomatoes, and two more cups of water.  Make a bigger pot of rice.

*I imagine the Turks have a similar saying about the Bulgars.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Monday, January 5, 2015

Sucker Bet

Even money says there's no school tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recipe For Disaster


1 long snowy afternoon


1 large yellow cat

Mix with:

1 knitting project


8 balls Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush (@ $8.25/ skein)

(Optional: 1 $80.00 vet visit).

(Kitty pic from Pepere le Chat)

Saturday, January 3, 2015