Things I have learned today

There are a disturbing number of threads on the Internet about soundproofing car trunks. Many of them seem to be about properly balancing the sound of subwoofers, but at least one poster said that he wanted it to be able to stand up to kicks. (Why, yes, this was story related. I have a minivan — no trunk.)

M&Ms do not bake well inside a white cake.

Coarsely crushed coffee beans (or coarsely chopped) work much better for coffee ice cream than coarsely ground because you can mostly filter them out with a mesh strainer.

What have you learned today?

To tell the truth

I owe you answers to last week’s puzzler. (I also owe you a Friday flash starring Drake — next week, I promise!)

The lies are

  • I’m the XBox Queen in our house.
  • My hair has been long enough for me to sit on it.
  • I can speak Irish Gaelic.

That would be 3, 2, and 1, in order. Oddly enough, that means my mom knows me best. 😉

The first group:

Everyone assumed that I have, indeed, sewn, crocheted, and knitted clothes for both my kids. Guess it’s obvious I’m inclined to crafty things.

Yes, I’ve been to Russia — in the summer of 1984, I went with the People-to-People High School Student Ambassador Program. We did six countries in six weeks, including Ireland, England, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. (Okay, I suppose technically at the time it was the Soviet Union, but we visited Leningrad and Moscow, and I’ve always just told people I went to Russia.)

However, I don’t play on the Xbox. I sit there and give advice to other people on what to do, and I look up things on my iPad, but I don’t play it myself.

The second group:

In sixth grade, I got the chicken pox. One of the things I’d never heard about this is that the virus takes up residence in your nerves. It can also impair senses, especially if you’re predisposed to problems. That was the same year my younger brother started wearing glasses, too.

My hair has gotten as far my lower back, but never long enough to sit on.

And my right foot is indeed that much bigger than my left, probably because for years after my accident, I carried most of my weight on the right side, and would often stand with my right leg supporting me entirely. They used to be less than half a size off from each other.

The third group:

I’ve toyed with learning Irish, just as I’ve put in some time poking at German and learning Japanese kana. I probably remember fewer than half a dozen words, though.

I love the wood lathe. I took wood-working to fill a breadth requirement in college and discovered that I have a knack for turning. What I don’t have is room to keep one or the time to devote to using it, so it’s something I’ve learned that may enrich my stories in the future, but not something I’ll ever pursue as a real hobby.

During college, I picked up a book and harmonica from Klutz books — Country & Blues Harmonica for the Musically Hopeless (at the time, it didn’t come with a CD). I learned the basics, and I can still play scales and bend notes, but I’d be hard pressed to even play “When the Saints Go Marching In.”

Next week, I’ll try to post more content, including a story from Drake. Meanwhile, I’m going to go make some ice cream to cope with the summer.

Two truths and a lie

This past weekend, we went to a picnic for a school group our son’s going to be involved with next year, and for one of be icebreakers, they played Two Truths and a Lie. If you’ve never played it, the idea’s right there in the name — you have to tell three facts about yourself, one of which must be false. I thought, for fun, I’d take a stab at it here in my blog.

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Catching up

Otherwise known as “five random things make a post.”

  1. I haven’t tried to get a picture of fireflies, but they’re back, the annual flashes of green in the trees and over the grass. However, here are some gorgeous long-exposure shots from a Japanese photographer.
  2. School’s out for the summer, which means my son is home and already doing the “I’m bored” routine. For the record, we’ve been to the library twice since he got out last Wednesday. It’s going to be a long summer. This week, I took the kids to buy summer clothes (for some reason, last year’s shorts didn’t fit any longer) — one at a time to preserve my sanity. It almost makes me regret washing the old clothes this weekend.

  3. I realize I haven’t drawn a number for the Sevy Series giveaway. There were two entrants, and the winner is:
    random number
    Widdershins, that’s you. Let me know if it’s okay to forward your e-mail address to Sarah-Jane Lehoux so you can get your prize.

  4. My efforts to write a short story a day during May? Yeah, that didn’t happen. I wrote one short story and three flash, plus started another five stories and started brainstorming a novella. I have more written now than I had at the beginning of the month, though, so I’m calling it a win.

  5. Back at the beginning of December, I talked about my desire to lose weight. So how’s that going, six months in? Um, not so well. The good news is I haven’t gained any weight. On the other hand, I’m only a couple of pounds lighter than I was on my birthday. I’m not giving up (My middle name could be “Persistence,” except of course, it’s not; persistence doesn’t start with an M.), but I will have to lower my expectations for what I’m going to achieve before December.

What’s new in your world?

Just breathe

Last night, my husband was sharing some videos from Ze Frank with me. This guy does absolutely hysterical true facts videos, primarily about weird members of the animal kingdom, such as mantises, sloths, fruit bats, and baby echidnas. (He also did one about Morgan Freeman.) Then my husband played one of Ze Frank’s TED talks, and I realized I had seen it before. It prompted me to go looking for this song this morning to share with you: