Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Someone was more interested in the treats...

Than the trick of getting into his Zorro costume.

Unlike me and my co-workers. I'm the rock star in the middle (deliciously awful wig, isn't it?), my boss is the '50s greaser chick on the left, and the diabolical doctor on the right is a co-worker who is being groomed for management. They might want to reconsider, now that she's going around with fangs. It's not nice to scare people away from the HR department.

I'll try again later to get Cadbury into his costume and if it works out, I'll post the results.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Back to Reality

Well, my two days of play time are over. I enjoyed the conference, sick puppy that I am. I think it's a sign of serious mental disorder when you get excited about economics and labor force issues and when your critique of the conference as a whole is that there should've been a dedicated breakout session for discussion of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

I was also way too virtuous, not once dipping into the candy dishes or partaking of the afternoon cookies and brownies. Oddly, since I quit eating pre-made, processed foods, I find I rarely have cravings. I used to not be able to avoid inhaling any cookie in a three mile radius, but it's pretty easy to walk on by these days. Eating real food in realistic amounts really works!

The layout of the conference hotel was kind of odd. The conference rooms were all underground and parking was in a maze-like garage another level below, so that unless one made an intentional trip upstairs (no need for those of us not staying at the hotel) one could go all day without seeing daylight. They kept us busy the entire two days, with only fifteen-minute breaks before the next session, roundtable, panel, or speaker. I met some nice people, though, and was never bored. I got some great ideas to take back to the office with me and I found out about a workshop I'd like to attend in the spring. We'll see how that goes, since it would be overnight and my department hasn't got much money. But they have budget to send me to two conferences and a lunch workshop since I began working for them in June, so I'm not complaining. The number of conferences I went to in twelve years with my previous department? One. In the entire twelve years.

Yeah, I like my new job. For a lot of reasons.

So it's back to the salt mines now. I wonder if they've missed me?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Bunday: At the Trough

Okay, so it's not really a trough. Managing the hay when bunny is free to roam can be something of a problem, though. Cadbury is better than other bunnies I've had about not needing to take the food all over the room, searching for the perfect place to dine. It makes things easier when he'll eat out of the wooden toy box.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Recipe Share

In honor of our nice autumn weather (or as close as we can realistically expect on the Gulf Coast) I'm posting a link to this Butternut Squash Recipe. I've been making this for years and it's a personal favorite, either as a side dish or a light meal. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Big Enough for the Both of Us

Tonight Cadbury decided that the computer chair is big enough for both of us. The mayhem started with a leap into my lap. Soon that was not enough and he wanted to explore the rest of the chair, which didn't make for a relaxing time reading the news. He hung out in the chair with me for quite awhile and I'll be curious to see if this becomes a regular thing.

In other news, I have a new-to-me phone! I had been using a very ancient Nokia, due to the fact that I hardly ever need to use a phone and therefore can't justify buying a new one. I can certainly afford one, but I'm not one to buy things just because I can.

Dan loves bright and shiny new things though, and a few months after he bought a nice new phone, he switched to a Blackberry. My response: Whatever. We keep our money separate and as long as he makes his contributions to shared expenses, what he does with the rest of his money is his own business.

But then one day recently I was looking for something in the closet and asked what his fancy-pants pre-Blackberry phone was doing sitting there on the shelf while I was using something that barely held a charge and hasn't been cutting edge since around the time of French and Indian Wars. Dan thought my question was an excellent one and went on about his usual business of downloading ring tones for his Blackberry.

But today--joy! He found the charger for the unused phone, transferred my SIM card and got me all set up. Now I, too, can waste entire afternoons downloading ringtones that will annoy my co-workers. Yay, me!

And that's about it for news. We're having lovely weather here, by Houston standards, and I actually needed a long-sleeved shirt at the start of this morning's run. On Monday and Tuesday I'll be attending a local conference. It won't involve any travel, but it'll be a nice change of pace from sitting in my office all day doing job and salary analysis. And who knows? Maybe I'll take some pictures of the fancy hotel with my new phone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Every Day Fiction

Hey, peeps! I have a flash fiction published today at Every Day Fiction. Go check it out when you have time, and if you like it, be sure to leave a comment!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Okay, since all of Cadbury's bunny-blog pals are doing it, he's in, too. Here he is showing off his 'tocks as he checks to see if there are any craisins or other good treats under a comforter that ended up on the floor. Silly bunny.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Bunday: Captive!

Alert the authorities! I'm being held against my will!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Musings and Catch-up

Not much has been happening around here lately, as you probably figured out from the lack of blog postings. A lot of co-workers were at a conference this week, which gave me time to work on some older projects without a lot of new things coming my way. Wednesday was the university’s annual Tech Fair, and although I usually don’t go because there’s nothing I’m in the market for (nor do I want to be marketed to), Dan was working the fair and it was a chance to see a lot of my old IT friends, so I went and hung out for a bit. Sometimes it’s good to go to these things for no other reason than to have a little face time with people you know, keep your name out there and all that.

Now that the weather is cooler, I don’t have to start my Saturday long runs so ridiculously early. So today instead of driving to Memorial Park at 5 am to run where it’s safe to do so in the dark, I started my run around 6 here at home, running around the university until there was enough light to head out to Hermann Park and Rice. Nothing special happened on the run, but it was nice to do a route I hadn’t done in awhile and that didn't require I drive somewhere first. And in case you’re wondering why the university is safe at 6 am but not 5 am, it has to do with the arrival time of work and cleaning crews for both regular operations and the seemingly endless activities and events that go on over the weekend. The police presence seems to step up around that time, too. Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to upcoming time change. More morning daylight is a good thing for early-rising runners.

Here are a couple of recipes I’ve tried recently:

Oatmeal and Prune Muffins: In spite of prunes’ reputation, they’re moist and tasty dried plums that aren’t any more likely to send you to the bathroom than any other dried fruit. I made a loaf of quickbread out of this recipe instead of muffins, baking it on 350 for about 45 minutes. The first time I made this recipe the salt-to-sweet ratio seemed off but I followed the instructions exactly. My suspicions were right. The second time I reduced the salt by half and added raisins and chopped pecans just for fun. The result was very tasty. And since it contains molasses and raisins, I can claim it as a source of iron! Okay, maybe that’s pushing it a little. But it’s good and healthy, regardless.

Bulgar Salad with Grapes and Feta: This was a nice dish to prep ahead for weekday lunches. It requires no cooking other than boiling a little water. I’m not crazy about sweets in my main courses, so I skipped the grapes and used grape tomatoes. I added some finely chopped fresh spinach, since I had no fresh herbs handy, but the herbs of your choice and/or some fresh chives would work nicely in this. Top with freshly ground black pepper before eating and enjoy! As noted in the recipe, it only serves two so I recommend doubling or even tripling it.

And that's about it for news in my life. All the excitement is in my current fiction project. Although I've written some amusing scenes in previous fiction, this is my first novel-length work intended solely as a humor piece. It's been a fun ride so far and a welcome distraction from post-hurricane stress and the gyrations of the global economy. I could write a lot about the economy, although I don't know if I will because I try to avoid controversial topics on this blog. I will say, though, that if you aren't going to be retiring for at least another decade or more, this is a time of great opportunity. Play it smart.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Monday Bunday: Banana Chip

In keeping with Sophia's Monday Bunday challenge of finding the perfect banana treat, we see Cadbury enjoying a banana chip!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Six Random Things: Cadbury

We were tagged by our friend Roadbunner for the Six Random Things meme. I interviewed Cadbury as he worked diligently to extract old pieces of hay from the most inaccessible places under his cage, even though he had a box of fresh hay nearby. Here are his answers:

  • I honk when I run, and I love to run! Big circles, little circles, figure-eights, you name it!
  • I love timmy cakes but won’t actually eat timmy hay, since I prefer orchard grass.
  • I like to chew wood and the occasional mouse cord, but not cloth. The last bunny that lived here chewed perfect circles out of shirts and sheets but it’s not a hobby I’m particularly interested in.
  • I love nose rubs so much that I put my front paws on the female human’s leg and put my nose up for rubbing. Sometimes I even jump in her lap.
  • Even with my cage door open and a big bowl of fresh water on the floor, I usually drink out of my water bottle. That’s because it’s a fancy glass one with a little yellow duck that floats to show how much water is left.
  • I wear a mask to protect my secret identity.

We've seen this meme around for awhile, so we won't tag anyone individually. If you haven't played yet, you're it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


What all the fashionable rabbits are wearing to keep their ears back.

Now available in trendy willow.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Bunny Butt

Cadbury has such a cute, flippy little tail!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Saturday Run

I went to Memorial Park this morning for my first run-in-the-dark since the hurricane. Most of the lights are back on now and the park was full of early-morning runners, so it all had a nice feel of normality to it.

Once the sun was up I continued my run up Memorial Drive into the fancy area just outside the loop. Big mistake! So many of the rich peoples' trees came down that the place still looked like a Pacific Northwest logging area three weeks after the hurricane. Since Memorial Drive is a major thoroughfare and of course they can't stack the debris at the edge of their lawns like us middle-class folk did, the cut logs and tree limbs were piled up on the sidewalks for the better part of a mile, sometimes five and six feet high like a primitive wall or barricade. It was a difficult and dangerous area to run in and I spent a lot of time running in the street or on the esplanade. But luckily I didn't have such hazards on the rest of my run, so it all turned out well. I was left wondering, though, why the well-heeled people of Memorial haven't hired a private contractor to clear everything out, like a lot of us did in our far more humble neighborhood.

I got a nice surprise on my run, though, when I came to the roadside garden and found that the citrus trees were still loaded with fruit. I had thought for sure the winds would've stripped the branches bare of unripe oranges and grapefruit, but there they still were, a very good harvest in the making. Maybe I should plant some citrus trees in my yard. I could have the stump of the old bee tree removed and have oranges instead.

Not much else is going on around here. I'm just glad to have things back to normal. Cadbury is happy, too. Now that I have internet again, I'm at my desk in the study instead of at the office and he can do bunny flops at my feet. Simple pleasures are sometimes best!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sunny Window

Feline + Sunshine = Bliss

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Yes, friends, we have internet service at home again!

Last night Dan got a call from our next door neighbor that his modem was working. We tried ours, but no luck. Dan called Comcast and was able to get some information on repairs going on in the neighborhood. He got us onto the list and today at noon I noticed that the modem was working. I plugged in the router but was unable to get online due to setup issues. Dan fixed it on his lunch break, though, and everything is working great!

So nearly three weeks after the storm, my life is finally back to normal.