Thursday, September 23, 2010

Walking on Thursday

Out on my walk with my two walking-buddies today, we came across a minivan with a bumper sticker that read "Republicans for Voldemort". For a Harry Potter maniac like me, this message can have at least two interpretations. One, it could be that the owner of the bumper sticker is expressing their opinion that the Republican Party is destined for greatness if they were to choose Voldemort as their leader. After all as Mr. Olevander says when he is selling Harry Potter his wand, that they can all expect greatness from Harry because with the brother of his new wand, Voldemort had done terrible, yet great things. It seems to me that Voldemort was misaligned with respect to applying his genius. 

Another interpretation could be that this is a rallying cry for Republicans to find themselves a leader with a brain; no doubt there are smart people buried within the Party. Also, it would be helpful if their spokesperson could be consensus-building, possess integrity, and even the merest inkling of reasonable-ness. 

Others: It could also be that a democrat or libertarian owns the vehicle, and is expressing the opinion that Republicans are evil people looking for an evil leader. I feel confident that there are other interpretations for this bumper sticker, but also recognize that I cannot spend the day concocting any more. Back to work I go!  

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the routine!

Today I have returned to walking with Fred and George after a few weeks off. Fred and George (F & G) are our two dogs that are brothers, and comrades in arms as it may relate to walking around our neighborhood. Our dogs are somewhat famous for the origin of their names (from Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter books; many thanks to J.K. Rowling for her amazing characters!), and for their personalities. In our return to the walk today, they had to check each and every spot for any changes since we last went by. Ergo there were many stops, giving me the opportunity to continue working toward keeping my biceps in good condition.

Another feature of our walk is to pick up as much garbage as we can while fending off the intensions, real or imagined, of the other dogs in our neighborhood. Today, in between flexing my biceps I picked up a moderate amount of trash to sort and dispose of in an appropriate manner. The amount that can be gathered depends on the dogs' cooperation as well as the size of the bag that I have brought with us. Having been away from our normal route for a few weeks, there was a fair amount of trash built up. It never ceases to amaze me that there is so much trash lying about having been apparently discarded by hand, or through careless disposal in a garbage can, or not. It may be time to contact my local municipality to propose a Clean It Up! day. Perhaps one (or more) of the local municipalities could sponsor an event that would ask citizens to look around at their surroundings, pick up any trash there, and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner. Just picking up and putting trash in the garbage can or a recycling bin could go a long way toward protecting the environment from the hazards of build up of solid waste. Such an event could also promote civic pride while encouraging everyone to pick up trash that is evident in their yards, neighborhoods, and communities. Hmmmm... what municipality should I contact first?

Other benefits of the walk include two very tired dogs that will sleep so I can be productive, and taking the opportunity to pick a few plums from our very young tree, and eat one on the spot. Ah, the small pleasures of life!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cookie Mania

In preparation for traveling to see my sister tomorrow, for whom I always like to bring something chocolatey (or, brown as we like to say), I have made a batch of World Peace Cookies (a recipe from Dorie Greenspan and Bon Appetit). They are absolutely beautiful and delicious. After all what could go wrong when mixing together butter, sugar, and chocolate? My kitchen companion is Madame Biddy who has overseen the cookie baking process for me. We have been enjoying all the rewards that come from cooking in general and baking in particular. We have been enjoying the delights that come with making something delicious such as the amazing aroma that is enveloping the house at present. For this batch of cookies I have my favorite taste tester, my husband and very favorite roommate. I have received the nod of approval from him, so I can pack up the cookies (leaving some behind for him) to take to my sister.

This is where I confess to being a devoted, if not a fanatical cookie maker. I have a family that has long had the benefit of amazing cookies, if I do say so myself. However, I find myself in need of people to bake for as my family is full-up on cookies at present as is my freezer. I am also a devoted pie maker, or a 'Pie Queen' ala Anne Dimock and her wonderful book, Humble Pie. Having made hundreds of pies in the last two decades or so I feel compelled to try new varieties and recipes. Once again, my family can only eat so much pie per week; thank heavens that Thanksgiving is around the corner so that I can really flex my pie muscles.

I wonder if cookie breaks were taken while teachers' union officials and their contract negotiating counterparts hammer out a new contract, would result in successful negotiations more quickly. Or if those who are walking the tightrope of trade and other policy instrument development with significant challenges, would benefit from a cookie break to the let off steam. What could be better for the negotiations themselves, much less the condition of each individual id than enjoying a delicious cookie with one's beverage of choice? It could represent a breakthrough method for tough negotiations. I submit that it would be difficult to be surly when eating a cookie that leaves crumbs on one's face, and indeed such crumbs that have to be pointed out to the one besmirched. Such an exchange could scarcely occur without laughter, or a snigger at the very least.

Thank you Dorie Greenspan for another delicious cookie recipe!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Maiden Post

This is just my first post, because there has to be a first post.  Nothing else will be said in this post, but –whew!– I got that out of the way!