Sunday, February 27, 2005

Wishing for Fiction

I'm a really big fan of this Blog and since I don't have so much to say right now myself, I feel compelled to point out someone whose got plenty of entertaining things to say.

Fun for a Font Freak

I found this neat little freeware program (for PC's) to help..oh nevermind my babbling, here's the link with all the details and the program - enjoy!!!

How Weird am I?

Yet another goofy quiz - I couldn't help myself.
What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!
Of all the weird test takers:
90% are more weird,
5% are just as weird, and
4% are more normal than you!

Friday, February 25, 2005


This week has been a bit on the busy side and I don't have alot to say. So, I'll see you all soon - :)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

I have...

... more e-mail addresses than are necessary.
... a severe addiction to reality television.
... eaten calf brains.
... never appeared on Fear Factor.
... had a pet snake, turtle, bullfrog, four birds, and a cat - all at the same time.
... cried for hours for what seemed to be no reason at all.
... been afraid.
... Had this post saved as a draft since Feb 24th and only posted it on March 12th.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Good Bowling Score, Bad Cholesterol

I had a complete physical examination last week. The doctor said "everything seems to be okay. You should consider eating better and getting some exercise - let's see how the blood work turns out."

Four days later (today), my doctor calls me himself. "Hi Chris, this is Dr. Chau. I wanted to discuss your cholesterol." Here's the rundown: 251 total cholesterol, triglycerides are at 179 (should be less than 150), HDL (the "Good" cholesterol) is at 37 (should be above 40), LDL (the "Bad" cholesterol) is a whopping 178 (should be less than 100). So, this isn't the best news for a paranoid hypochondriac such as myself.

The good doctor asked if I wanted to consider go on medication or taking a "more aggressive" route of diet and exercise. I've decided to give myself 3 months, retest, then go from there. Of all of the genetic transference, the propensity to produce cholesterol is one I'd gladly have opted not to receive. Such is life.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Fear and Loathing No More

Writer Hunter S. Thompson commits suicide
'Fear and Loathing' author, 'gonzo journalism' pioneer was 67
This was the first headline I saw this morning. I presume Michael will far more eloquently eulogize Thompson but I felt I had to at least make a mention.

It was clear from his writings that Thompson had something of an extreme lifestyle but what attracted me to continue to read his work is that you knew he was telling it like it was, not how he thought John Q. Public wanted to hear it (or how the media wanted it presented).

There are far more people who know far more about Thompson than I. I hope that the news and media or at least someone does justice to the passing of this pioneer of journalism.

Rest in Peace.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

How Nerdy Am I?

I am nerdier than 43% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

NOTE: It appears that the site this quiz came from went down.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Chocolate Yummies

This recipe for "Chocolate Yummies" was one I found in a newspaper ad for Kellog's products. As you can see from the picture, they actually look yummy enough for an adventurous kitchen folk and sweet freak like myself to prepare (and subsequently enjoy). Here's the (little to moderately) interesting part of the story. I clipped the recipe thinking that "I'll make these when I get a chance." Just two days later, I take my daughter to meet Santa ata local rotary club fundraiser and at the confections booth, there are Chocolate Yummies being sold in little 2 serving bags for 50 cents. Of course old sweet tooth daddy-o grabs a couple while short-stuff offering up a shopping list to old man Kringle. Needless to say, they are appropriately named and after tasting them, made decided to make them that very day. Easy and yummy! Without further ado - here's the recipe:

7 graham crackers , whole pieces
2 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1 package (12 oz., 2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate morsels
2/3 cup light corn syrup
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter

1. Coat 13x9x2-inch microwave safe dish with cooking spray.
2. Place 6 whole pieces graham crackers in single layer in bottom.
3. Cut remaining piece to fit in bottom.
4. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over crackers.
5. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until marshmallows are puffy.
6. Remove from microwave and cool completely.
7. In 2-quart microwave safe mixing bowl, combine chocolate morsels, corn syrup and margarine.
8. Microwave at HIGH about 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate can be stirred smooth.
9. Stir in peanut butter.
10. Add KELLOGG’S RICE KRISPIES cereal, mixing until combined.
11. Spread evenly over marshmallows.
12. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until firm.
13. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Follow steps 1 through 4 above using 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. In 2-quart saucepan, over low heat, melt together chocolate morsels, corn syrup and margarine, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in peanut butter. Add cereal, mixing until combined. Spread cereal mixture evenly over marshmallows. Cover and refrigerate about1 hour or until firm. Cut and store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Music to My Ears

A source of recent joy that started with hearing part of a song, buying the CD, and now, 5 CD's later I simply can't get enough. Elvis Costello is one lucky fella these days.

Oh, her name is Diana Krall.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Boobs, Butt, or Shoulder?

Thanks to Jammie pointing this twisted quiz out to me. Here's a direct link to the quiz:

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sweet Logo

I found this neat website called CoolText that provides tools to make free logos and website buttons.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to use this spiffy logo as the header of my blog.

We Am a Comunitittie College

Ever since the last issue of the college newspaper, I've been looking forward to see what gems of comedic stupidity would be revealed. Some may recall the innapropriately humorous campus police log from last issue. This issue offers a sad laugh in the form of an ad with a misspelled word that is correctly spelled on a logo they used in the ad. S-T-U-P-I-D!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Come On folks, this is Bull!

I'm just sitting here minding my own business, reading my Sunday paper, and along comes (literally as you'll see in a minute)this story to completely freak me out.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Maine tax on bull semen has dairy farmers seeing red
By Glenn Adams, Associated Press | February 13, 2005

KNOX, Maine -- Sprawling over 1,300 acres at the crest of a ridge overlooking woods and fields milk-white with snow, Aghaloma Farm is a survivor.

At one time, this town of 750 people had 17 dairy farms, but that number now stands at seven, including the Larrabee family's Holstein farm. The numbers reflect a statewide decline from 775 dairy farms in 1986 to fewer than 400 now.

After a couple of years of relatively stable prices, dairy farmers are facing their latest challenge: a tax on livestock semen, a product that is nothing less than critical to dairy operations.

''Will it put another nail in the coffin? No," said Galen Larrabee, whose 700-head, third-generation dairy farm is one of the seven largest in the state. ''Will it put some other farms out? Yes."

Maine is the only state in New England, and one of only a half dozen states across the country, to levy a tax on bull semen.

The topic may make nonfarmers squeamish, but bull semen is as basic as feed to dairy operations, which breed cows about once every 14 months to keep them producing milk. Farmers tend not to use bulls much because they are hard to manage and can be dangerous.

Farmers long avoided a tax many did not even know existed as Genex Cooperative Inc., the largest livestock semen distributor in Maine, simply paid the 5 percent levy without passing it to farmers, according to state Representative John Nutting, a Leeds Democrat.

Then the company decided that as of Feb. 1, it would stop paying the tax, which it sees as an increasing burden. The tax has started showing up on farmers' bills.

''That's why the issue has just hit the fan," said Nutting.

Because the government regulates milk prices, farmers cannot simply pass the latest added cost of doing business onto consumers, Larrabee said while standing in a small office at the edge of his cow barn.

For larger farmers like Larrabee, ''We'll end up absorbing it," he said. ''Some small farmers, they'll say, 'Maybe I ought to say the heck with her.' "

Peter Waterman, whose Sabattus dairy farm has 125 cows, worries that the tax ''opens the door to start taxing all the expenses" smaller farmers contend with, ''and that would be a hardship."

Waterman also said the tax frustrates farmers' efforts to diversify and run their operations more efficiently, as a state dairy task force advocates.

''I think this sets a bad precedent," said Waterman, who faces $250 a year in new taxes. ''This is one of our core expenses. . . . It's a necessity, really."

Nutting and others say Maine law is on their side. They cite language that clearly exempts products used in agricultural production, including seed, feed, hormones, fertilizer, pesticides, litter, medicines, and other items.

Nutting, a lanky man who works long hours on his own dairy farm, said he sought to have the state send a letter clarifying that livestock semen should not be taxed.

The state, facing a budget shortfall in the hundreds of millions of dollars, refused.

Now Nutting wants language freeing farmers of the tax inserted in the state budget. It is a battle he has waged before.

''It's just like hay five years ago. It's an agricultural product, and we had to make sure they didn't collect taxes on it," said Nutting. ''Now it's semen."

It is not a small expense for dairy farmers. Each unit of bull semen, packaged in a thin tube resembling a straw, costs about $20, but it takes an average of two applications to achieve a conception.

That means a farmer who has 300 cows would need about 600 units per year, at a cost of $12,000. Maine's 5 percent tax adds $600 to the bill.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

102.6 going once, twice...

It has been a week of transition at work for me. Instead of my usual comfortable position on the Framingham Campus, I am now only in Framingham 1.5-2 days a week while shuttling to the far less convenient and far more stodgy Wellesley Hills campus the other 3 days. Needless to say, this will take some getting used to.

My daughter got sent home from school yesterday with a 102.6 fever. Rather, the school nurse called me at noon (just as I was on my way to lunch on the further away campus mentioned above) and I left work early to pick up my sickly child. Talk about a sense of timing, I get to her school and the exact moment I pull open the front door, and a deafening alarm begins to sound. Somewhat impulsively I flail my arms into the air silently questioning this most unusual greeting while feeling somewhat guilty for unknown reasons.

Seconds later, hundreds of first through third graders along with the entire population of the building were heading for the freezing outdoors as the alarm was simply a fire drill (that just happened to coincide with my attempted entry). Far more disturbing was the fact that my 6 year old daughter with a 102.6 degree temperature is heading toward the 20 something degree outdoors (single digit if you factor in the frigid wind chill) without a jacket. Superdad that I am, off come my comfy warm down coat as I wrap her in its warmth and begin to shiver and shake in hopes that the gyrations will warm me and the fire drill will be short.

Twenty minutes later, we all head back into the gymnasium where the noise level rises infinitesimally as each new group of children enter. Once the entire population is in the gym, we then get dispersed one group at a time to classrooms and the sort. Finally, Victoria and I head to the nurses office to gather her belongings, then the school office to sign her out, and finally back home.

Finally, today the fever hadn't broken yet so we spent 5 hours in the emergency room (instead of going to New York City as originally planned to catch a Broadway show). It's odd to see my usually very active child in such a lethargic state but I guess no matter the age, eventually the body forces you to rest it.

I am tired...catch ya all later.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

This Dude is Completely Nuts(less)!

Well, at Least He Won't Be Fathering More Fans...
Tue Feb 8, 8:27 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

Geoff Huish, 26, was so convinced England would win Saturday's match he told fellow drinkers at a social club, "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off," the paper said. Friends at the club in Caerphilly, south Wales, thought he was joking. But after the game Huish went home, severed his testicles with a knife, and walked 200 yards back to the bar with the testicles to show the shocked drinkers what he had done. Huish was taken to hospital where he remained in serious condition, the paper said. Wales's 11-9 victory over England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was their first home win over England in 12 years.

[Thanks to Egan for pointing out this story]

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Third Time's a Champ!

Go Pats!

Reflection on a Sunday Evening

untitled...written February 6th, 2oo4

tears are falling
for the journey has hit a rough spot
beyond the scope of human comprehension

clinging to my faith
desperate for answers
that I know do not exist in our world

hold my hand and let me draw strength from you
be strong for me in the moments
that I can’t be strong for myself

let me build a foundation of hope
one of love and faith
even when I am consumed with
the intensity of that which
consumes me without invitation

today, I hurt
but deep down I feel you beside me
I am your child
You are my strength I surrender to you my soul

***for the Richmond family

Ramblings on a Sunday Evening

*Please pray for Melanie Richmond. Melanie is a 24 year old cancer patient who is going through a difficult time right now. She is a bright young talented teacher who has many gifts to offer in this world.

*Tomorrow, my new work schedule starts where I "bounce" between campuses. Monday and Thursday at my usual home camus in Framingham, and the rest of the week in stodgyville (Wellesley Hills). YUCK!!!

*I spent a productive yet exhausting day on retreat yesterday with the search committee (we are searching for a new rector to serve at our church).

*I'm a bit short of creativity and humor at the moment - but I'm recharging the batteries and will be back soon.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Invitation

This has become one of my favorite poems. I first read it a little over a year ago when the deacon at my church distributed it during a workshop I attended. I led the follow-up workshop and shared it with any of the new folks as well.

For me, this is a powerful piece of writing and has been expanded by the author (Oriah Mountain Dreamer) into a short book that explores the writers perspective on the poem (I just picked up the book). Anyway, here is the poem - enjoy...

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
and if you dare to dream of meeting
your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk
looking like a fool for love, for your dreams,
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with the pain,
mine or your own, without
moving to hide it or fake it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine, or your own;
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful,
to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you're telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even
when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moons. "YES!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief
And despair, weary and bruised to the bone,
and do what needs to be done for the children.

It doesn't interest me to know who you are,
how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or
with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you
truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.