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Old 08-04-2009, 10:22 AM   #1981
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The weather has been good so more motorcycle riding. DW is excited about the trip to DE later this week to see my sisters and the anniversary party for my half-sister and her husband. That anniversary is significant for us because it was at their 35th anniversary party that I met DW-to-be 25 years ago.

I only went along with meeting her after a niece's repeated harassment that "you need to meet this girl". At the time I was fresh out of a divorce and wasn't interested in meeting anyone wearing a skirt, having every intention of remaining a crusty bachelor for the rest of my life. However, she was kind of cute...
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Old 08-04-2009, 11:28 AM   #1982
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Went for my annual medical check up - took 4 hours. I think I have gained 2 lbs since my last medical but I think there are other more important things to worry about like cholesteral which likes to head up north every year... Went to the gym to try and lose the extra weight, cooked and surfing the web. It's 10:30 pm now and I won't hit the sack until about 2 hours time. So, time for a nice glass of white wine, some chips and a movie.....
Love that last line; yeah, "nice glass of white wine, some chips and a movie" late at night are on my weight-loss/lowering the old cholesterol agenda, too. If we leave out the dip, that might do it? There goes five pounds right there.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #1983
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Mowed the back forty before more rain moves in tonight.
Visited the garden and was astounded at the weed growth in 3 weeks.
I have my w*rk cut out for me for the rest of this week. Who needs a gym?
My mini vineyard is doing great, with the vines are reaching the tops of the lower boards. I have a lot of green tomatoes and the pole beans are flowering and forming little beanlets.
With all the rain we've had, I'm surprised everything is not rotting. TG for having a sloped garden.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:40 PM   #1984
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Made chicken stock...
A local Oriental supermarket sells pork, beef, and chicken bones for people to make stock. The chicken bones are actually carcasses that obviously are left-overs when they prepare boneless chicken meat packages. I had never seen chicken bones sold before.

At the price of $0.50/lb, we have been buying these bones to make stock. When I do not work and am home, I eat vegetable soup for lunch (a kind of low calorie soup, i.e. cabbage, celery, zuchini, squash with no potatoes and limited amount of carrot and onion). "Upgrading" from canned stock to this homemade stock just makes the soup divine. One does save a few bucks, but the joy of cooking and the improved taste are priceless.
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Old 08-04-2009, 02:02 PM   #1985
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NW-Bound, what timing! Today I made stock (or broth, or consomme, or whatever you call it) from meat bones and trimmings that I have been saving in the freezer. Onions, carrots, and herbs from a friend's garden, vegetable peelings, mushroom stems, and some leftover sauteed zucchini from last night.
There were some lamb bones in the bunch, and I may not do that again if the broth tastes too strongly of lamb.
We will have it ice cold tomorrow for lunch. That and a salad is just the thing for a blistering Texas day. I know it sounds p1ss-elegant, but it's good.
BTW, the fish-monger at our Whole Foods gives us the fresh carcasses left over from filleting fish. Just the thing for fish stock.
meat stock.jpg
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:07 AM   #1986
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Need to go renew my driver's license, complete with new photo and eye test.
Weather forecast is good, so it is 'Stangin time. I haven't driven her for 3 weeks due to weather and vacation.
I feel a short road trip coming on...I have a friend from HS living in Rochester who has been bugging me to come visit her and her Mom.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:55 PM   #1987
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What a coincidence, Freebird! I just renewed my driver's license today, complete with new photo and eye test, too. Couldn't do it online this time, since the photo was 8 years old. Standing in line in the heat with crowds of humanity for an hour wasn't fun, but much to my surprise I ended up with a much better photo than last time.

Then, back to work....
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:00 PM   #1988
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I'm curious, FB and W2R, are y'alls states implementing the "no smiling in your driver's license picture" rule like we do in VA? I haven't had to renew mine yet, but everybody that has comments on it. VA used to be fairly libertarian, but it's sliding into statism fast now. Just wondering if the rest of the country is setting people up for the facial recognition systms too.
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:09 PM   #1989
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Harley, I don't think Louisiana is implementing this yet. They didn't say not to smile, and there were no signs to that effect. In fact, almost nothing was said or communicated. Once I got to the person who takes your photograph and makes the license, and handed her the form showing that I had paid, it was approximately 3.98760987 seconds until my photo was taken. I didn't even have time to brush my hair or sit up straight. I smiled but very gently - - not a big, broad "I just won the lottery" smile like this but a "hi, how do you do" smile more like this . My choice.

She told me to take my glasses off because the glare ruined the first photo, and retook it (with the same type of smile, in about 1.2309876 seconds). No problem. About a minute later she handed me my license and I waltzed out of there.

Amazingly, it actually looks like me. Not a bad photo at all, considering that I was absolutely melting in the heat.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:02 PM   #1990
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To Dreamer

You and I are a lot alike! As it turns out, our daughter is having minor surgery next week so I will be returning to her house alone this time for 10 days. DH will be taking care of our oldest (3 and a half) year old grandson in another state for 4 or 5 days. He is taking our two dogs with him, which will make things easier for me except I am so attached to them I'll be so sad without them for that long!! Anyway, this time I'll be on solo duty, even though she will be in the hospital only 2 nights max and my son in law will be home at night. My daughter can't drive for a week post surgery, which makes the week and a half of my being there necessary. At least she'll be able to walk around and hold and feed the baby once she comes home, but I am still already thinking about all the details: shopping, cooking, cleanup, childcare, dogcare for their two.....I think the best approach is to smile a lot and enjoy the boys as much as I can and go with the flow! Fortunately I don't need as much sleep as most people -- 5 to 6 hours can get me through for a while. I just wish the drive there wasn't over 13 hours -- good thing I generally enjoy driving! I just cringe, though, if something goes wrong and my DH isn't there -- I try not to think about it.....good luck to both of us!!
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:37 AM   #1991
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No smiling -- that's new to me.

Four states adopt 'no-smiles' policy for driver's licenses - USATODAY.com
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Old 08-06-2009, 06:42 AM   #1992
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I love Costco...even though I can't walk out of there without spending at least $100.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #1993
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Went to a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald house last night. It was a dinner at the local Le Cordon Bleu cooking school followed by a preview screening of Julie and Julia. It was a cute idea because Julia Child first learned to cook at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; and they served boeuf bourguignon, which figured prominently in the movie.

I might get into trouble for saying this, but the dinner was awful. Now I know where bad restaurants come from.

The movie, on the other hand, was delightful and laugh-out-loud funny. It is the story of a young Queens woman who decides to cook her was through Mastering the Art of French cooking and blog about it. Meryl Streep nailed Julia Child's speech, mannerisms, and maybe even some deeper something about Julia Child's character. It a great performance.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:34 AM   #1994
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The movie, on the other hand, was delightful and laugh-out-loud funny. It is the story of a young Queens woman who decides to cook her was through Mastering the Art of French cooking and blog about it. Meryl Streep nailed Julia Child's speech, mannerisms, and maybe even some deeper something about Julia Child's character. It a great performance.
This is one movie I definitely intend to see! I'm a sucker for Meryl Streep and I'll bet she's a hoot doing Julia Child! Thanks for the review.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:34 AM   #1995
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What a coincidence, Freebird! I just renewed my driver's license today, complete with new photo and eye test, too. Couldn't do it online this time, since the photo was 8 years old. Standing in line in the heat with crowds of humanity for an hour wasn't fun, but much to my surprise I ended up with a much better photo than last time.

Then, back to work....
In 95 days, you will learn the joy of being able to go to DMV at 2 PM, not on lunch hour. I had exactly 2 people ahead of me, both guys who could care less about how the picture turned out. No line at the cashier.
Our DMV actually turns the screen around and lets you look at the photo before they process the final. I looked a lot better than my recent passport photo. Think mug shot minus the numbers.
The biggest chunk of time I spent there was shooting the breeze with the clerk, a personal friend, until another customer showed up.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:37 AM   #1996
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I didn't dare go at lunchtime, because the crowds would have been huge. I had to use one hour 45 minutes of vacation time for this "vacation".

The hours are 8-4, so I got there at 9:15. There were several hundred ahead of me, but not as bad as it would have been at lunchtime. They did a good job of it - - first everyone is in the same line for an hour, you tell them what you need, and you get a number (just like in a deli! ). Then you sit down for a few minutes until your number and the clerk who will take care of you are called on the P.A., and flashed on numerous lighted signs a foot high all over the place. It's sort of like clerical triage.

Your DMV office sounds like a dream come true!
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:38 AM   #1997
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This is one movie I definitely intend to see! I'm a sucker for Meryl Streep and I'll bet she's a hoot doing Julia Child! Thanks for the review.
Ditto! I just added it to my Netflix queue.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:43 AM   #1998
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I'm curious, FB and W2R, are y'alls states implementing the "no smiling in your driver's license picture" rule like we do in VA? I haven't had to renew mine yet, but everybody that has comments on it. VA used to be fairly libertarian, but it's sliding into statism fast now. Just wondering if the rest of the country is setting people up for the facial recognition systms too.
State is NY. There was big SMILE sign taped to the photo machine. So I did.
Passport photo at local post office was a different story - the photo taking guy asked me to look natural, with a minimal smile.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:48 AM   #1999
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...There were several hundred ahead of me, but not as bad as it would have been at lunchtime.

Your DMV office sounds like a dream come true!
Um...hundreds? You're kidding, right?

Things like small lines at the DMV and knowing the clerk personally are the little things that compensate for the cultural void that comes with living just east of the middle of nowhere.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:06 AM   #2000
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Um...hundreds? You're kidding, right?
No, I thought you were! The line inside was about 60 feet long and doubled back on the same 60 feet more than a half a dozen times. They had stands with straps connected to them, like at a bank (but much closer together), to keep you from cutting in. So for an hour you were in a mass of humanity, with people within inches of you or touching you in front, behind, and on both sides, the vast majority of whom did not speak English and/or had a cell phone glued to their ears at all times. Sort of like a giant subway in rush hour, I suppose. Not for the claustrophobic or the easily bored, and with all those bodies in close proximity the A/C just couldn't begin to keep up. And then that wasn't enough space so the end of the line went out the door and into the parking lot where I spent the first 15 minutes in 90+ degree heat and direct sun. There was a guard whose sole job was to tell those outside when they could come inside.

After you got through the line, there were about 400-500 chairs, about half filled, with people waiting for their numbers to be called. Such is life in the (once upon a time) big city. I thought they did a great job getting all of us through that line so quickly - - obviously they knew what they were doing though it wasn't much fun.

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Things like small lines at the DMV and knowing the clerk personally are the little things that compensate for the cultural void that comes with living just east of the middle of nowhere.
I am looking forward to moving to Springfield! While it isn't as remote as your location, I suspect that lines will be shorter.
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