Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, October 30, 2014

One last post for the night

As I share the final picture with caramel and pecans on the cheesecake. I've hammered some gingersnaps into pieces in a bag and will include that with directions to add to top of cake as desired when ready to serve. All in all, I'm four gingersnaps short of using an entire pound in this cheesecake (so of course I ate those four), along with four packages of cream cheese and most of a stick of butter. I hate to see what the calorie and fat content of this is. Oh, and let's not forget a half a jar of caramel. This looks and smells absolutely decadent. Now to wrap it up, put it in the refrigerator overnight, do some cleanup, and then you know what, I'm pooped. I hope it is well received. Is it time for bed yet? (I'm so tired I forgot to attach the picture the first time I posted this...good night!)

Okay, I'm not a very good carver

But here is my little jack o'lantern. :)

Can you tell I absolutely love Halloween?

Out of the oven

My whole apartment smells like this - - pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger snap crust. It's right out of the oven here. In 30 minutes I get to drizzle caramel all over the top, sprinkle on some pecans, and refrigerate for tomorrow's dessert contest at work. If it tastes anything like it smells, it will be worth it.

With all the cheesecake-making

I forgot about the pumpkin carving. Gee. That's the fun part of Halloween, right? Now to find a good pattern...
But at least I remembered to go online and verify my employment with my cellular phone provider, as I get a discount that way. Today was the deadline.

Well, it's in the oven

I apparently only have one springform pan after all. I seem to recall thinking of getting two but only getting one. I did find the chopping blade of my food processor to chop up the gingersnaps with. It was inside my crockpot. Apparently I thought it was a safe place, given my penchant for klutziness and trouble with sharp objects. I also got to use a small stepstool I'd acquired that, despite being only a rugged plastic, is supposed to hold my weight. It did so, yay! (I had to look for my hand mixer, which had been placed in the cabinet above my refrigerator.) Obviously, I don't use kitchen tools very often. But it worked out pretty well. I got the crust together, put it in the pan, and put it in the fridge to cool for 20 minutes. Then I mixed together the ingredients for the filling, putting the oven on to preheat to the right temperature about halfway through that, and both crust and oven were ready when I finished the filling. So it should come out about 10:15 (yes, I started at 8 pm instead of watching BBT, but I recorded it). It went into the oven at 9. It calls for caramel to be put on the top after it cools a bit and then refrigerated at least four hours, then putting some more crushed gingersnaps on the top right before serving. But I'm going to take it to work in the morning and dietary is going to refrigerate it, and I don't want the gingersnaps getting soggy, so I'll forego that, maybe put some pecans, which are in the crust and inside the bottom as well already. That will also clue anyone with nut allergies to avoid the cheesecake. This has been fun. Still, I haven't started the cleanup yet. :) In case this sounds good to you, you can find the recipe at Ree Drummond's website. Funny, I'm not a 'foodie', and didn't know of her existence till a food show came here to Lexington just a few weeks ago. When I looked for a pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust, this one came up and sounded intriguing. I'll let you know how it goes. Since I've never made this recipe before AND it's for a dessert contest, I skipped the step at her recommendation where you drizzle caramel on top of the crust before baking. Some people report doing so leads to a rock-hard crust, and she says she thinks it has to do with variations in different gingersnap and caramel formulations. I used the same brand of cookies and ice cream topping she did, but didn't want to take a chance of botching this. (I did break down and use Kroger cream cheese instead of Philadelphia....the recipe calls for four packages of cream cheese per cheesecake and I thought I'd be making two, so I didn't want to totally blow my budget on this.)

Like many

I have long had an interest in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of pilot Amelia Earhart and her navigator. Here's some interesting tidbits about more evidence of them coming down at a small atoll in the Pacific. Amelia Earhart case isn't closed quite yet; New clues are compelling, but it's too early to say her mysterious disappearance has been solved

I liked this, both in terms of Tim Cook himself and the author of this article

Tim Cook Is Important Because Firsts Are Important
In 2014, it is still news when Tim Cook of Apple becomes the first chief executive of a Fortune 1000 company to publicly say that he is gay. Some day, an announcement like that probably will not be newsworthy, and when that happens, it will largely be because it was news today.

I had a really great time today

dressed up for our trick-or-treating at work. The kids were absolutely cute, everything from dinosaurs to Disney princesses, to Thomas the Tank Engine. One of our departments went as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with disposable turkey roasters on their backs painted green with the appropriate initial, etc. Another did a farmer and his animals. There were super-heroes and super-heroines in abundance. And one lady had a great shirt that said, 'If the broom fits, ride it.' Few of my co-workers really knew anything about the subject of my costume, but I got many compliments, including people who thought I'd do well as a redhead. I realised the wig could be used for Ariel or maybe even Merida from Disney, although the latter has very curly hair. The wig worked pretty well, although like all wigs it was a little itchy and hot. Here is what I looked like:

I got caught up on other things at work that had taken a back burner to the scheduling training. I'm going to go back up there tomorrow for a couple of hours and spend some time up there next week, as well. Since work, I have:
  1. Hunted down the ingredients necessary for pumpkin gingersnap caramel cheesecake for the dessert contest tomorrow, as well as a fruit bowl for the birthday baby shower we're having.
  2. Brought home a small pumpkin to carve for the contest tomorrow.
  3. Gotten all the groceries in, although of course the one bag I dropped had eggs in it. Only one broke, though, and I was able to salvage it for cheesecake.
  4. Put the cold groceries away.
  5. Taken the itchy, hot wig off.
  6. Returned my hair to something resembling it's normal appearance, so it isn't sticking up in all directions.
  7. Gotten into shorts and a tank top.
  8. Taken my dentures and contacts out, and set them both to soaking in cleansers of the appropriate type.
  9. Scrubbed all the makeup off my face.
  10. Put all the makeup I had strewn around the bathroom back where it belongs.
  11. Eaten some Kroger Tuscany bean salad, cheese, and crusty bread.
  12. Sat down and gone, 'whew!'
So now it's 7 pm. I need a little decompression time before beginning to carve and bake. I must remember that 'The Big Bang Theory' is on tonight, back in its regular slot. But in the meantime, I'm going to chill for a bit. If I start things about 8:30 it should work out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

How's that?

Here is the magnifier pendant with a mediaeval portrait of Arthur and his Knights.

Listening to Loreena McKennitt

which is appropriate for this time of year, as the album has both 'The Lady of Shalott', which I am dressing up as tomorrow for our trick-or-treat at work, and 'All Soul's Night', which is almost upon us. Right now, I'm listening to 'The Stolen Child', which I find to be quite haunting. I have my skirt and blouse all ready for tomorrow, and a wig that is a bit darker than Loreena McKennitt's but in the same style, with bangs and long waves, so in a way I'll be dressing up as both her and the doomed Fae.

Tonight I took a friend to an appointment and helped him with something. Tomorrow there's the dress-up and trick-or-treat, and I need to wish another friend a happy birthday, as he catches up with me in age. Tomorrow night I will be carving or decorating a pumpkin for a contest on Friday, fixing some cut fruit for a breakfast baby shower in my new department, and baking a gingersnap pecan caramel pumpkin cheesecake for another contest at work. Then Friday night is not just Halloween, but Samhain, a religious holiday for me. I never seem to get kids coming for candy to the door--I live in an apartment, and I guess people just aren't comfortable with that. But I'll get a little candy just in case. But I will also put together a libation and spend some time remembering the dead.

Okay, time to add a couple of touches to the costume--I'm going to print out the Tennyson poem for my cubicle and take a magnifier that doubles as an ornate necklace and copy some knights out of one of my books on the Middle Ages and use that as my 'mirror' tomorrow, hopefully without cracking it from side to side. :) [Image: John William Waterhouse]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


FBI Created Fake Seattle News Story to Catch Bomb Threat Suspect

They used a fake story link to plant spyware on the suspect's computer.  Sneaky and scary.  And this was a minor.  Just wow.

:( But at least no one was hurt

Orbital Sciences' unmanned rocket explodes on liftoff in Virginia

Quite a loss,  but at least no one died.

I'm not Catholic, but I really like Pope Francis

especially compared to the last one. Here's the latest from him: Pope Francis on Board With Science: Evolution and the Big Bang Are Real, God's Not a "Magician"

Okay, I don't shop at Wal-Mart for a host of reasons, but there is also this...

'Fat Girl Costumes': Walmart apologizes for offensive plus-size Halloween costumes section name
Until a little after 11 a.m. on Monday, Walmart advertised costumes for plus-size women on their website as "Fat Girl Costumes."

The section name was discovered by a Jezebel reader Kristyn Washburn, who then tipped off the website. The section featured many of the same outfits as the Women's Plus Size section.
YKWIA called me this morning and told me about this. Yes, much like the Target 'manatee grey' fiasco where a dress was described like that in the plus-sized clothes line even though the regular sizes were in 'dark heather grey', we have 'Fat Girl Costumes' as a subsection of the Wal-Mart website, with a banner that read, 'Make it a monstrously big Halloween for less.' Yeah, wow, there's a way to get customers to buy your product, right? Who thought this was a good idea? And even if they were somehow costumes made in China labelled that way (and there's no indication I've found that that was the case), someone should have figured putting a subsection online with that name would be, well, bad from a public relations standpoint. Okay, yes, we know we're fat. But if you're going to use the word like this, at least be consistent, like manatee grey for regular sizes or, I don't know, maybe 'Fat Boy Costumes'--I notice it seems to be fat women who are the target here. Which is funny, because that's also the target customer, and one rule of customer service is to not offend your customer. *Shakes head.*

A couple of things of interest related to the history of public health

Lexington's 1833 cholera epidemic chronicled in new book
The stricken died quickly, sometimes within hours.

Others hung on a few days, but they were so dehydrated they no longer looked like themselves, but rather like skin stretched taut over bones and tendons. Their brains still worked, even as their bodies died all around them.

People passed one another in the street without greeting, fearful that their friends and neighbors would contaminate them. Orphaned children wandered the streets, seeking food and shelter from strangers. Those with means fled to the countryside.

Ebola in 2014?

No. Cholera in Lexington — in summer 1833.

Terry Foody, a public health nurse who has lectured about cholera for the Kentucky Humanities Council for the past decade, has written a book about the 1833 epidemic in Lexington: The Pie Seller, The Drunk, and The Lady: Heroes of the 1833 Cholera Epidemic in Lexington, Kentucky (Self-published; $18.33).
Terry Foody is signing her book at the Woodford County Public Library, 115 North Main Street, Versailles, KY, from 1-4 pm on Saturday, November 1st. She did a signing recently at the Morris Book Shop, which is an independent bookseller here in Lexington. I'll check with them tomorrow to see if I can get a copy.

Also, today is the 100th anniversary of polio-vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk's birth. Google honoured him with a Doodle, but there was also this, which I think is dead on--with the restrictions we have today (many to protect research subjects) and with the anti-vaccine nuts out there, such a large double-blind trial (of 2,000,000 school children) would not happen today.

Jonas Salk's Polio Vaccine Trials Would Be Hard To Repeat Today

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My new haircut

I've spent thirteen hours over at my friends' house, watching 'Haven', 'Hart of Dixie', and 'Fringe', watching UK football with A, watching their cat play with the koi on my phone's live wallpaper and make the water move, and then helping YKWIA make a cake and frost it--chocolate with a bit of espresso powder in both. The cleanup is done. I am now home. I should be working on the game notes now, but I'm tired, so I'm heading on to bed with the idea of getting up very early to take care of the rest of the notes (of which I've gotten only about 1/3 finished), get gas for the car, go to the store for string cheese, crackers, and soda, and then get there by 9 am. Which is in 8 hours. Oh, and I need to remember to bring a blank CD-ROM for tomorrow.

Good night.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cthulhoid Wesen!

I am so glad 'Grimm' is back! And with tentacled Wesen that suck out your brains (okay, your memories, but you get the point).

Piscis mortus est. Vivat piscis.

So the betta did, indeed, die. So this morning I fished him out (no pun intended), put him in a baggie, and disposed of him in the trash (you shouldn't flush fish), and did a partial water change. This afternoon I stopped by Incredipet and got another betta and five common goldfish. The goldfish are currently exploring their new home. They're about an inch smaller than the three I had, but big enough the others won't try to eat them. One is white, a couple are a lighter, golden orange than my others, which are a kind of deep orange or orange and white, and then a couple are that same gold with white. The betta will hopefully do alright. I did a bad thing. I bought a betta mini-heater since yes, they are tropical fish. Now my other did okay with just ambient temperature, but I sometimes let it get a bit cold in here, and I run a fan while I sleep year round. So I set that up and got it going. Theoretically I should (okay, I just should) have let the water temperature stabilise over the next few hours before putting the betta in, but, he was in a very small plastic box without benefit of the oxygen they were putting into his water. So I gave it a bit, got him used to the water as is, and left it to gradually warm (or that's the plan). I also got a couple of plants made from a softer material that are supposed to be better for bettas, and I rinsed them and put them in. I took the plastic plants that were in there, rinsed them really well, and then put them in the big aquarium (again, I probably shouldn't have done that, just in case there was something in the betta tank that caused his death. Still, he didn't look diseased at all.)

So my upcoming agenda is as follows:
  1. Do game notes.
  2. Watch 'Grimm'.
  1. Watch 'Haven' with a friend.
  2. Help said friend bake something (and since we did the store run yesterday, that is over and we don't have to tomorrow!)
  3. Watch 'Doctor Who', or at least catch up on some I already have recorded.
  1. Help get the house ready for the game.
  2. Play the game.
But right now I'm going to stretch out and relax for a little while before starting the notes. It's been a very challenging week with lots of new stuff to learn, and I'm so glad it's Friday.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I'm tired and my feet hurt

especially after spending an hour-and-a-half at the grocery with A and putting away groceries, but it was good to get it out of the way before the weekend, and I got some things, too. It's the longest I've worn my new shoes in one wearing, and I found that the soles of my feet aren't quite used to the insoles of the shoes, which are from Sure-Fit. Maybe I should put my custom diabetic orthotics in them instead. But I am well relaxed at this point and the pain is easing, as I've spent another hour-and-a-half streaming Pandora through my bedroom TV, with a channel built around Loreena McKennitt, so it's been Celtic and New Age music.

Today was about playing catch-up at work, since I didn't have to train in scheduling today, so there was time for the library and data entry stuff I needed to do, or at least most of it. I'll have to finish up some tomorrow. But I got a lot done anyway. Today was also our benefits fair, so I came home with lots of information and some fun swag. There was also a kickoff luncheon downtown (I didn't attend) for the campaign for the new hospital, with the mayor, our Congressman, and various other candidates in attendance. By all accounts, it went really well.

I've been updating my tablet and Kindle and charging my phone, in which for the first time I let the battery completely die. But it's charging quickly, almost to full and that's in less than two hours.

I think my betta may not be much longer for this world. I came home and he was on the floor of the aquarium and has scarcely moved at all, and he's usually very active. He's lying in front of the bubble stone. In fact, it could be that the bubbles are moving his fins, rather than him, and he's actually dead. It's hard to tell. I've had him for at least a year-and-a-half. Brenda was just saying the other day that they don't live much more than a couple of years. So I guess it's about time. But I've really enjoyed having him, and I'm sad at the thought of losing him.

Okay, it's after eleven and I'm really struggling to stay awake, much like this critter. I love when the meerkat falls over and then pops up, looking all around it, like, hey, did anyone notice? :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


People don’t like Mitch McConnell. That’s why Alison Lundergan Grimes still has a shot.
The Kentucky Senate race comes down this: whether voters are more willing to vote against a Barack Obama who is not on the ballot, or a Mitch McConnell who is.
Now I'm not saying I would vote for anyone to get Mitch McConnell out of office. But yeah, close to that...and I feel just about as strongly about getting a challenger to Rand Paul. I am embarrassed by the senators from my state--terribly embarrassed anytime I see the headlines.


45,000-Year-Old Man Was Human-Neanderthal Mix
Project leader Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London explained to Discovery News that the Siberian man belonged to a population that was closely related to the ancestors of today’s Europeans and Asians. He carried only slightly more Neanderthal DNA than they do.

“But his genomic segments of Neanderthal ancestry are on average about three times the length of those found in genomes today,” Stringer said.

This is highly informative, he continued, “as the chunks of Neanderthal DNA have been gradually broken up each generation since the time of interbreeding.”

He and his team charted the rate of that change to the present, when all living non-Africans possess 2 percent Neanderthal in their DNA. Going backwards in time, the researchers could then see that the mating with Neanderthals took place 7,000–10,000 years before the Siberian man lived. This means the human/Neanderthal interbreeding happened no more than 60,000 years ago.

Oh, dear God, this is for Brenda

(And for 'Doctor Who' fans, one of the gentlemen is Sylvester McCoy, who, while he is Radagast the Brown in the Hobbit movies, played the seventh Doctor.)

All, I can say is wow, this is what happens

when at academics take a terrible backseat to academics. Be sure to read the whole thing. This is so wrong, and antithetical to what universities should be doing. Athletics should be a means to an education, not the other way around.

UNC report finds 18 years of academic fraud to keep athletes playing
For 18 years, thousands of students at the prestigious University of North Carolina took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released Wednesday.

"These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible," Kenneth Wainstein wrote in his report. He conducted an eight-month investigation into the scandal, which has plagued the university for nearly five years.

Four employees have been fired and five more disciplined because of their roles. One other former employee had honorary status removed, Chancellor Carol Folt said Wednesday.

Wainstein is the former federal prosecutor hired by UNC to independently investigate the academic fraud brought to light by CNN, the Raleigh News & Observer and other media outlets.

In all, the report estimates, at least 3,100 students took the paper classes, but adds the number "very likely falls far short of the true number."

Not that anyone will get it

But I'm going as the Lady of Shalott for Halloween.  I have a beautiful cranberry long skirt in velvet and satin,  along with a blouse that has a sort of fantasy mediaeval look with flared sleeves in the same colour. I just used a cashback bonus with Amazon for a dark red wig.  We'll see how that looks.

Okay,  so I'll be a somewhat rotund doomed fae,  but still...we'll see if anyone at work is familiar with Arthurian legend, the famous poem by Alfred,  Lord Tennyson (or the song by Loreena McKennitt based upon it),  or several pre-Raphaelite paintings with her as the subject,  including the one with her in the boat by John William Waterhouse (which I've included here.) :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I came across these photos of me as Great Cthulhu a few days ago

If only I'd been able to rig wings. Big, green bat wings. :) Happy (almost) Halloween! I'm not sure at all what I'm going to dress up as this year. I'm just glad we have a work environment where that's okay, even expected. I think my favourite costume anyone did ever was the information services people came as keys from a keyboard, and a late and sorely-missed colleague, who was very likable and full of joie de vivre, came as the 'any' key. :)

Today is the second day

I've trained in scheduling. I'm doing better than yesterday--I actually did some reschedules without supervision, but handed it back to the other person when it came to juggling more than one patient at a time while on the phone. Still, I'll get the hang of it. I'll be there tomorrow and then mornings Monday-Wednesday next week. I was able to work on the other aspects of my job, both library and data entry, this afternoon, and did pretty well at getting much of it done, despite it being a high-census clinic day. Tonight I took a friend to an appointment and another to get his bus pass. Now I'm home and I may watch another 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' episode, although what I really want to do is some reading, I think. I almost never read these days, and I have several books out from the library that look good, plus the many 'to be read' ones on my Kindle. I'm halfway through a book I started months ago. I don't think I can re-check it out again without turning it in. It's one of those Nellie Bly mysteries, called Alchemy of Murder by Carol McCleary. I've enjoyed, I just haven't had much time to read. Now I do, so I should. :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I am amused

by Microbrachius dicki, both in its name in relation to this story and by the fact that it was apparently ahead of the times, and evolution seems to have had a bit of foreplay and then reverted to spawning instead. I am also amused by the fat that the BBC included diagrammes as to how they copulated. :)

Ancient Scottish fish 'first to have sex'