Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

What?? Huh? You say it's Tuesday? Oh, I knew that, but I thought it would be cool to have a Monday morning staff meeting on a Tuesday, just to mix things up a bit.

Yesterday I went to a program with my neighborhood friends and Neighbor Betty told me that she couldn't properly start her day because I hadn't published a post. You remember Betty, she's the Queen of Everything and I promised her that there would be a new entry this morning. Are you happy Betty? Leave a comment my dear.

Betty - the Queen of Everything

Every Queen has a tiara.

The problem with discovering that your neighbors are reading your blog is that you have to stop talking about them. So, shhhhh.... no more gossiping about Betty.

Our little excursion will be the subject of this week's field trip, so stay tuned.

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Now, about the lapse. I spent the last two days doing major surgery on one of my computers, the one that I use to store and process all of my photographs. It's simply easier to do it on the separate (and older) computer, leaving this one free to perform all my "other stuff". The photography computer got sluggish refused to do much of anything. One of those "Danger Will Robinson" alerts informed me that it couldn't perform the basic task of opening a photo. Why? Because I was operating on only 1% of the available space. Attempts to defrag were useless.... not enough memory to even do that.

So, I hauled out the external hard drive with the intention of transferring all the photo files that I'm not currently using. As part of the process I populated my Picasa program, which puts all the photos in a "tray" on the sidebar. As you can see the thumbnails soon became so cramped and tiny that they were each the size of a hydrogen molecule. I'm not kidding!!!

Imagine my shock with the information at the bottom of the tray informed me that I had 27,230 photo files!! No wonder things were backed up. That sounds excessive but I've been doing the photoblog for over 4 years and this blog for 1 year a half. It demonstrates the problem with digital photography. The good news is that you can take 1,000 photos in a day. The bad news is that you have to deal with all those photos at the end of the day.

Let's just say that I applied a little digital Drano and now things are working fine. Whew. I've got to be a better housekeeper.

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Last week we went to a pancake breakfast at the Burlington fire house. I thought you might like to see what these men are up against. This is a fire that hit a local horse farm a couple of years ago.

How dangerous does that look? Those cornstalks are 8 foot high or taller, just to give you some perspective. Believe me, the entire scene was 10 times more dramatic than this photo suggests. Unfortunately, many horses were lost in the fire.

We are very thankful for the hard work that these men perform.

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Omigosh, I forgot the food. We're going to have to stay a little later in order to finish the large cake I brought for this morning's treat. It's Cinco de Mayo and in celebration I've brought a Tres Leches Cake. That translates to three milk cake and it's delicious. The basis is a yellow cake. It must be a substantial consistency because after baking you poke holes and pour in generous amounts of three different milks and then top with whipped cream. It's not moist, it's positively wet. When I placed this slice in the bowl it immediately leaked a puddle into the bottom.

I've never made this myself because there are so many great Mexican markets nearby that bake it for me. A quick online search reveals that the three milks are: regular milk, condensed milk and heavy cream.

Definitely give it a try, it's delicious!

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OK, I'm officially sick of Jon and Kate Plus 8. They've moved into a 1.3 million dollar home and Kate states in a Good Housekeeping interview that they've named one of their new puppies after the bodyguard they hire each time they're in Hawaii.

Really? So much for the struggling everyday family that was the premise of the show.

Poke me with a fork, I'm done.

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Finally, I must mention the Swine Flu. I appreciate the attempts by the World Health Organization and the Media to properly prepare and warn people about the possibilities of a pandemic. But I must say that I'm unimpressed with their ability to explain what makes this flu or it's transmission so dangerous. Don't talk about protein coatings and such because we don't get it! They must also walk the line between being informative and being alarming. This is just the first wave. As history has shown the first wave is not the problem, the wave that comes in the fall will be the one with the potential go berserk. If they cry wolf and nothing happens, nobody's going to listen the next time around.

These virulent strains of flu are to be taken seriously. The Farmer became terribly, terribly ill when we returned from Mexico in February. I've known the man for 35 years and NEVER seen him so ill. The office did a swab and confirmed the flu but never did any further testing. He was so sick that I was seriously frightened for his well being and almost insisted at one point that he be admitted to the hospital. This man, who never spent more than a day in bed was flat on his back for two weeks.

So, it makes you wonder if many cases have been unidentified.

Stay well out there.

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The floor is now open for discussion. Anything you'd like to discuss? Any questions about life in Illinois?


Vee said...

Okay, I was here and all excited last evening when this popped in, but found nothing. You must have pulled it at the last minute. Betty's right. The entire world falls off its axis if you don't post a Monday Morning Staff Meeting.

I had wondered about you guys having the flu after returning from Mexico with all this pandemic info. But most people who have it (we have seven confirmed cases in my corner) say that it is mild. Mild as in like every other flu. Thieves...everyone should get some now. That stuff works like nothing I've ever taken before. No, I am not a doctor. I just pretend to offer sage advice on my blog.

Have a terrific Tuesday, Suzanne!

Texas Gardener said...

The cake looks wonderful. Zero calories too!

My kids have been home from school for a week now and they don't go back until Monday. They are calling it Swine break and Swinefest 2009. They have about 9 cases somewhere in town so the whole Fort Worth school district shut down. This was during the week of state testing too. My daughter was supposed to take her exit tests so she can graduate next year. It will be interesting to see how they make up this time!

Anonymous said...

Would love to meet Betty -- she looks like one cool woman in that crown! Hope your computer is feeling better, too. May I have another piece of that cake now?

Thirkellgirl said...

I heard an epidemiologist on the radio a few days ago who said that only *10% of the cases are identified.

Longtime no see! We've been off to northern Wisconsin and back via the U.P. since I last "saw" you!

Lisa said...

mmm...cake! It looks delicious.

Since they've started talking about the swine flu I've wondered about you guys coming home and getting sick....but I didn't want to say anything ;) Also there is no telling how many people got the sf before the "pandemic" and noone ever knew differently from the regular flu....

BittersweetPunkin said...

Jon and Kate plus 8 is a touchy subject with me..I cannot stand the show. Anyone who can constantly emasculate her husband in public and remain incredibly rude to all those in her general vicinity does not rate well with me. Not to mention I don't think the show is really being honest about whats going on...the things people do for money.

Ok,,,well no cake for me. Just coffee...although the cake does look quite yummy....

bv said...

i am sooo impressed with your tech abilities. i get confussed with any little burp mine makes. ditto on the flu warnings and john and kate + 8. i am happy to say that the annual jv toast was a blast and now i will be staying in bed this week! happy tuesday!

1inCollege1inDiapers said...

I was missing you yesterday too. When there was no board meeting I thought I had gotten fired or something. Tuesday meetings work too.

Steph said...

Where did Betty get her shirt? I love it! I need one with Cotton on it!

Farmchick said...

I too am in love with Betty's shirt. Maybe here in Kentucky we need one that says, "Got Bourbon?"

That cake looks yummy.

Suzanne said...

Vee - What is Thieves? Never heard of it. Paul was given Tamiflu and still he was so ill. I was sick also but recovered in a few days but he was slammed which is wierd because I'm the one with the compromised immune system

Texas Gardener - I think they are going into a panic mode, being overly cautious and the result will probably be the "cry wolf" syndrome.

Cindy - Betty is a terrific friend and neighbor. She's alot of fun. You may have more cake!

Thirkellgirl - I'm sure that is true. They just identified his as flu but didn't test any further because they didn't know there was a problem brewing. How was your trip to Wisconsin? Did you have pie at Norski Nook? I've never done the trip around the tip and down the UP. I've actually never been to the UP of Michigan. Bayfield, Wisconsin is a terrific place though.

Lisa - Well I knew his flu was something very virulent. He was just slammed. It was difficult to watch. He had to sleep sitting up for a week!

Punkin - I agree - J & K + 8 makes me a bit queasy. In those chair interviews they seem to rationalize the entire situation explaining that they view the filming of their family as the "family business". Unfortunately, their financial success due to their contracts is also going kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

BV - I only learn due to sheer necessity. I'm somewhat computer dumb but I forced myself to learn something about the photo management processes. I'm so happy that your event went well. It's alot of work lady - you need a vacation. Get thee to your getaway spot.

1 in College - No need to go job hunting, you're still on the roster. I count on you to keep Heidi from becoming too rowdy.

Steph - They had those shirts made for their annual "Corn drop" party. Look back in my archives in January. They have a large 6 foot ear of corn that they drop every New Years Eve and of course they have a party to celebrate! I made her crown.

Farmchick - Yes, that's a good idea. Got Bourbon? is perfect but please no "Got Mint Julep"? I can't stand the taste of that drink.

Thanks everyone for attending the meeting. Please finish all the cake because it doesn't keep very well.

Bridgette said...

Missed you on Monday, but like it when you mix it up!
Cake looks yummy but I've had it up to my eyeballs with all things Mexican. I work in the closest thing to Tijuana.
Jon and Kate-please, her personality is like fingernails on a chalkboard! I fully agree with Bittersweetpunkin.

Kate said...

Was talking to my great-uncle the other day. He said the first wave of the Spanish flu in 1918 was no big deal; it was mild. But then it started killing people. That must be the second wave you're talking about?