(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) Dream - Semco Style (no replies)        
Those who make dreams come true get noticed

- Aldowa (A Semco Style Company)

'Leading Wisely is a podcast series by Ricardo Semler about the search for wisdom in organizations. In discussions with business leaders such as Zappos' Tony Hsieh, Basecamp's Jason Friedman and David Heinemeier Hansson and with other experts on the topic such as Frederic Laloux, he challenges assumptions and explores how we can change the way we live and work.

- Killing the dinosaur business model, 2017

'In France, almost every couple of days a company or public sector organization is entering corporate liberation. How about US? Here is one more example on how a company’s leader decided to liberate his company.

Ricardo Semler’s book served as an inspiration. Add to that a deep conviction and a lot of common sense.'

- Freedom Inc, '..corporate liberation.' June 6, 2017

Context (Leaders)

'..I believe in responsibility but not in pyramidal hierarchy .. the negative value of structure. Structure creates hierarchy, and hierarchy creates constraint..'

(Bazaarmodel - To Heal - Teal) - 'Your physical .. cultural .. soul heredity..'

(To Heal - Teal - Bazaarmodel) - Striving for wholeness '..We have let our busy egos trump the quiet voice of our soul; many cultures often celebrate the mind and neglect the body..'

'I, too, have a pet little evil, to which in more passionate moments I am apt to attribute all the others. This evil is the neglect of thinking. And when I say thinking I mean real thinking, independent thinking, hard thinking.'

- Learning How to Think (Economics - '..acts of choice.' (‘..imagination of alternatives..’))

(Open Source) - '..“open innovation.” Companies such as AstraZeneca, Lilly, GSK, Janssen, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, TransCelerate, and others..'

(Haptopraxeology) - '..the senses were the windows of the soul and that reason had a divine right to feed upon fact..'

(To Heal) - Overview of Focus Levels '..to areas of greater free will choice.'

'..to rethink and to rebuild a culture where there are open channels between feeling and understanding..'

(Praxeology) - '..his or her subjective values .. to explain all economic phenomena as the results of what people do..'

'Reinventing Organizations: ..radically more soulful, purposeful and powerful ways to structure and run .. organizations.'

(To Heal)(Management innovation) - '..Teal Organizations to start healing the world..'

(Haptopraxeology) - Students of Civilization

By don570 (alternative method to install and new pet packag)

The lovely and talented Ms. Mouly asked me last Wednesday if I might have any cover concepts about pirates and portuguese water dogs. I didn't really, and though I tried my best to combine the two in a singular idea, I found that pretty impossible to pull off, so I gave her 8 sketches -- and this is the one The New Yorker went with. Anyone who does covers for the magazine knows how blisteringly fast the process can be -- with this one, 16 hours from sketches to approval to final art. While I wanted the piece to work on a decidedly decorative level, I'm also pleased that people have picked up on the subtle allusion; the black and white mixed-breed pet juxtaposed against the vastness, scale and magnitude of the office itself. BTW,  my preferred title for the cover was 'Oboma', the NYer opting instead for simply 'Bo'.

Detail of the dog

          Review: Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask + Brief update about my life        
Hello readers! As promised I will be reviewing Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask.

One of pet peeves is having visible white heads or black heads on my skin. I am prone to having white heads on my skin. When I stayed up late consecutively, I will start seeing white heads sprouting on below my lower lip, chin area and sides of my lips. I also get paranoid when that happens, because I fear if people can see it when stand close to me. There are lots of products for black heads but not much product are available for specially white heads. I find Skinfood Egg White Pore Mask relatively effective for my white heads treatment.
I can't find any information on this product on skin food.sg website. I can only find information on the global website. Perhaps it is not available in Singapore. I am not to sure myself since my sister bought it for me directly from South Korea in July this year.

Here is the description of the product found on the tub, "A pore-refining mask that contains egg white and eliminates pore-clogging impurities", "Egg white is loaded with albumin that consists of amino acids".

The mask is white in colour and has mud pack consistency. It is quite easy to apply as well, It glides smoothly across the skin. I usually apply a thin layer (just enough to cover my skin), as shown below.

After leaving it on fro 10-15 mins, I will wash it with lukewarm water. The main point is washing using lukewarm water. I tried washing with normal temperature water, I feel that there is difference in effectiveness. After washing, I can feeling my skin becoming smoother, lesser white heads bumps. I tried using it when I have occasional break outs too, it aggregate my acne and I felt it help in recovery in some ways too. I pore also tighten around the T-zone after using it. All in all I felt that it is a good product that it easy to use. Now, I incorporate it in my skin care regime. I try to use it once a week. It is not very drying on the skin too, however if you have dry skin, you might want to put on moisturiser after using this mask. Remember to cleanse before using the mask too!

I will rate it 5/5 stars.

Just a brief update about my life, the content of year 4 university modules has been pretty difficult. I didn't do we'll for my midterms as well. I have been feeling that I have no life these days. Sometimes, I wonder if my hard will pay off or not. Do you readers have any quotes to recommend to me? Motivational quotes that give you strength during hard times? If you do, please share with me using the comment section below.

Have a good day.

          Comment on Episode 210: Characterization by William Palmer        
Nice episode, I feel like y'all only scratched the surface on this one. I like the idea of characterization coming in the moment, from choices. So in a RPG context every time you have to make a choice or speak in character (which I guess is a choice) you decide in that moment who your character is, based on what has come before, and then from the directors stance, what you want to happen. in a video game context like Mass Effect every time you come to a decision point, the game is asking you to characterize your version of its protagonist to be either Paragon, neutral or correct. :) As much as we'd like perfect consistency, characterization changes (outside of intentional character arcs) whether we want it to or not. This comes from the gaps between play sessions, differences in our emotional play state (bleed), and the (almost necessarily) fluid nature of characters in the shared imagined landscape. This isn't a bad thing most of the time because it's minor and we modify our characters slightly based on the outcomes we as players would like to see. In a recent game of Eclipse Phase I just ran over Roll20 I had all the characters introduce themselves with a dream sequence. I made it very clear that this was to be an opportunity for solo storytelling and had everyone else follow the microscope rules of shutting up and not helping as to preserve a unique vision. It went over really well, even if we had a few more pauses for thought than normal, and even over Roll20 the characterization was very clear and shined through. That's another thing, characterization is much easier in person or through text than it is online which has always been one of my bigger pet peeves with online gaming. In person you get to use all of your senses, through text you get to expound as much as you'd like, online you're normally restricted to voice and actions. It makes you work harder and practice which brings a lot to in person games. Yet another thing, how quickly does a character come to you? Are most NPCs at the same level of characterization in their first min of screen time as say an ApoWo character? Obviously we know more about the ApoWo character but does that come through right away or do you build that character up with every interaction/decision? I would say the later. Another way to say that would be: Are most characters defined more by what's on their sheets or what's in our heads? Could y'all post a link to 183 days from the rants section? I seem to be having trouble finding it. https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#newwindow=1&q=183+days+rpg Oh, have y'all ever Janked (that's now a thing, I'm making it a thing) about practicing for RPGs? If not, I have a potentially stupid topic for a cast, Do You Practice for RPGs? We practice writing, tennis, medicine, improv, calculus, sex, woodworking, and juggling; why not RPGs? This may be something that I'm alone in doing but I first took up acting in local theater partially because I thought it would bring something to my "craft" of role-playing. A lot of the time when I'm watching movies (especially bad but interesting ones like "In Time" or Divergent) I'm thinking about how I would translate that into a game (Fate conversion and Misspent Youth in those cases) and I'm logging away interesting choices or details that I can later bring back to the table. Staying in genre can be difficult when you have 5 different peoples conceptions of what noir is. But when you reference a movie or book everyone is familiar with then people are suddenly on the same page both conceptually and thematically. In general when I'm about to play in a game, or even worse run one, I often immerse myself in fiction of that genre to get it right. which seems like practicing a genre for an RPG to me. I've watched more than a few online videos on voice acting (see Roll20 stuff above). My bedside readers are fiction and things like Long-Form Improv by Hauck and Writing 21st Century Fiction by Maass. I've even run experimental one shots before to test out narrative concepts, like extreme flashbacks that only tie in tangentially to the main story, or practice something else unusual. I've never really retroactively declared anything longer than a one shot practice before but my first couple of fumbling forays into RPGs with D&D (because of coarse it was D&D) could certainly be called practice. I know RPGs aren't supposed to have a goal per se but what I'm striving for are improvisational stories that surprise me, thrill me, and touch my heart. What I'm after is a fluid game with little overt communication about it between players in the moment (all I'm asking for is mind reading here!). What I desire is a game that could be written down and sold as a good book and I feel like that takes practice. I practice to impress others, I practice to feel more relaxed and confident, but most importantly I practice to have a more distilled, better quality of fun. P.S. Your'e welcome for the text wall!
          How to wash your pussy        
      How to Wash the Cat… 1. Put both lids of the toilet up and add 1/8 cup of pet shampoo to the water in the bowl. 2. Pick up the cat and soothe him while you carry him towards the bathroom. 3. In one smooth movement, put the cat in the toilet […]
          12-yr-old: I Yelled at Him, Please, No, Don’t Shoot My Dog! Finally, Hartford Pays for Trespass, Unjustified Fatal Shooting        

Via AP: The $885,000 settlement, approved by the city council on Monday night [2-27-17], includes damages and legal costs. The Hartford Courant reports it also indemnifies the officers.

  • Schoenhorn: We have a Constitution for a reason

  • BACKGROUND, 11 years of stonewalling and despicable maneuvers ...

    Dog killer, found liable, empties most of bank account - court filing

    Hartford police officer JohnMichael O'Hare -- found liable for violating the Fourth Amendment, trespassing and fatally shooting the pet dog of a 12-year-old Hartford girl -- has removed most of the cash from a savings account that had been attached by a federal court, according to a filing in Hartford's U.S. District Court.

    The court filing by the girl's attorney on Nov. 21, 2016 stated U.S. Magistrate Donna Martinez had ordered O'Hare and fellow officer Anthony Pia not to transfer assets. Attorney Jon Schoenhorn asserted in the filing that O'Hare's account shrunk from $23,508.06 to $1,383.40 this fall. Prior to that, a jury awarded a total of more than $200,000, including $32,000 in punitive damages for this Fourth Amendment case. Litigation costs and attorney fees are also to be awarded after eight years of litigation and are anticipated to exceed $700,000.

    The Associated Press has reported that the city of Hartford reversed its position to indemnify the officers. At the same time, according to the filing, the city continues to pay attorney's fees and defense costs.

    Attorneys for the police officers and the union did not respond to messages left Tuesday.

  • Jury verdict and background, column

  • Statement from Glenn Harris, 2-27-17:

    The law and the civil rights of the community should not be interpreted differently because of where a family chooses to live or their ethnicity. If it had not been for Attorney Schoenhorn’s perseverance and refusal to sit idly by as injustice sought to prevail, my family may have never gotten even the smallest sliver of justice. Our families in this city need to be treated with the dignity and respect that we deserve. It’s better for everyone who works and lives here to just treat people better. We are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. We deserve better than to be simply treated as an afterthought, suspects, or insignificant.

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

              Comment on RIP Srecko Jamnisek 1931-2010 by Slobodan Maričić        
    Slučajno sam večeras pročitao ovaj prilog i ražalostio jer sam imao čast i zadovoljstvo da budem saradnik pravog gospodina Srećka Jamnišeka u Frankfurtu tokom pet godina rada u Ljubljanskoj banci. Neverovatan čovek, pun znanja, energije i optimizma. Rastali smo se 91/92 godine kao veliki prijatelji ali se na žalost od tada nismo više čuli. Imao sam čast da upoznam i njegovu divnu suprugu i ako kojim slučajem neko ima kontakt sa porodicom Jamnišek želim da zamolim da prenesete moje iskrene pozdrave i moje divno sećanje na Srećka Jamnišeka. Slobodan Maričić, nekadašnji šef predstavništva u Frankfurtu sa suprugom Nadom inače detaširani predstavnik nekadašnje Ljubljanske banke u Beogradu.
              YouTube for PS Vita now ready, will help you watch more kitties than Killzone        

    YouTube for PS Vita goes live, will help you watch games more than play them

    Sony promised us a YouTube app for the PlayStation Vita this month, and although it's just sliding under the wire, that app is here. The viewer as it hits the console will play videos over 3G and WiFi as well as in HD quality, if you've got the bandwidth to burn. Most of the basics for favorites and searches are covered, including a small player that will let you hop between clips. There's no mention of subscriptions for those perpetually addicted to Maru or Ray William Johnson, however. That quirk aside, the free app is due to swing by the PlayStation Store any moment now, so fire up your Vita and get ready to watch game strategy videos distracting pet clips on that OLED-packing handheld.

              E-day Final - Hari Majlis yang Dinantikan        
    Salam semuaaaa.. ada ke yang reading blog ni, kang syiokkk sendiri pulak. Hihihihihi~

    OK......... tarik nafas panjang-panjang, dalam-dalam.......... fuhhhhhhh!!

    Dengan ini, saya dah official jadi TUNANGAN ORANG!!! yeahhh!!

    Letih juga tau nak menjelang hari e-day ni. Dengan tiba-tiba asthma attack few days sebelum majlis sampai takleh nak kemas rumah or buat keja berat sikit, confirm semput. Tapi alhamdulillah, all went well!

    OK, kat bawah ni official list barang-barang hantaran daripada pihak lelaki dan pihak perempuan which is my side.

    Pihak lelaki (5 hantaran)
    **  Cincin emas dengan diamond
    **  Hand bag Carlo Rino
    **  Skincare Orique + Jam tangan ICE
    **  Kek tunang
    **  Buah-buahan

    Pihak perempuan (7 hantaran)
    **  Perfume Calvin Klein
    **  Kemeja
    **  Jam tangan ICE
    **  Belt + Dompet Sembonia
    **  Cupcake
    **  Buah-buahan
    **  Set penjagan muka dan badan sponsored by "Lembut by Adlina"

    **  Baju tunang custom made by Lesung Creation
    **  Tudung (mama beli kain meter kat Jakel dan Mak Lang potong dan jahitkan)
    **  Makeup daripada Lembut by Adlina
    **  Pelamin tunang DIY (kalau berkenan dengan pelamin wanie macam ni, boleh contact Lembut by Adlina - sewa RM 199 sahaja sekali stage! )

    Part makanan pula, boleh kata semua homemade. Mama masak mi kari dan dessert pula puding jagung. Abah order roti jala jugak. Lepas tu along orderkan red velvet cake yang yaaaa ampunnn sedap yakmat!

    Part nak disatukan pula, kitorang plan bulan 3 tahun depan. Tapi sekarang ni mama dengan wanie dah siap-siap pergi survey bridal boutique di sekitar sini. So far, kitorang dah terjah Butik Pengantin Nabil Barakbah di Alor Setar dan Ixora Bridal Boutique di Changlun. Dua-dua cantik dan harga ditawarkan pun within the budget (below 6k untuk kedua-dua belah pihak). Cuma sekarang ni, kena discuss dengan mr tunang dulu (ecewahhh.. status dah upgrade kawww.. hahahaha) dan oleh sebab size cik tunang kita ni agak XXL, kena lah datang fitting kat butik dulu. Kalau tak muat, kenalah baju baru (korang pesan partner korang nanti diet sket.. taknak diet takpe, tapi siapkan duit yeee.. hahahaha).

    Oklah, meh wanie belanja sket gambar nye...


              E-Day Part 3 - Barang Hantaran Tunang        
    Holaaa korang...

    Letih haaaa letihhhh! Tunang aje pun, belum nikah. Letih bukan sebab apa, sebab budget constrain kan.. so nak meminimakan habis perbelanjaan (ya rabbi, nak type minima tu berapa kali type-delete-type-delete - typo manjang!)

    31 August lepas, parent cik abam datang jumpe parent wanie. Alaaa... bukan sebelum ni tak pernah jumpa. Cuma kali ni, officially datang discuss untuk bertunang. Nevess mak nakk! Hahahaha~ alhamdulillah, all went well. Kata sepakat dah tercapai. Hantaran 5 dulang dari pihak lelaki berbalas 7 dari pihak perempuan.

    Jadinya, wanie dengan bakal tunang (tudiaaaaa.. meremang bulu roma type bakal tunang tuuu) hahahahha~ ok sambung sambung... jadinya wanie dengan cik abam menunggu weekend ni lah nak pegi shopping barang-barang tunang. Post checklist sebelum tunang sebelum ni banyak kali di edit ikut kesesuaian dan budget semasa. Hahahaha~ tapi at least, time blur dalam kereta, bagus jugak posting macam tu. Bila tengok list-list barang, macam idea kena spark untuk itu ini... so, bawah ni list terbaru lepas discuss dengan cik abam :

    1. sireh junjung **tak jadi, so masih tengah berfikir nak bagi apa.. hahaha
    2. pulut kacau mama buat
    3. cupcake along order
    4. kemeja
    5. dompet + tali pinggang
    6. puding mama buat
    7. shower set / perfume body shop

    Dari pihak lelaki pula :
    1.  Cincin
    2.  Kek (bakal adik ipar dah request siap-siap nak buat kat abang dia... hehehehe)
    3.  Orique (skincare product yang wanie guna - mahal, kesian pulak kat cik abam.. tapi dia insist sebab dia kata kalau nak beli brand lain nanti wanie tak guna sebab skin sangat sensitive).
    4.  Clutch (Carlo Rino je kut)
    5.  Sepasang telekung

    So, hujung minggu ni dah plan nak ke Mitsuit Premium Outlet. Nanti nak sawit sawit sikit lajak ke Melaka Premium Outlet kee... boleh pekena kenat shake (coconut shake). Hahahhaha~ and oh ya, kat Melaka banyak Pokemon best. Okehbai!

              Acupressure for Pets Course – Open to Public        
    “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” Join us for an evening in which we will explore tools and techniques to help your pet feel better. Traditional Asian medical acupressure points have and continue to be used on dogs, cats, and even horses. Show your furry four legged friend the love and affection […]

    I2PL för hudföryngring, photo skin rejuvenation Behandlingen är snabb, effektiv och ger ett omedelbart resultat. Huden fÃ¥r en jämn ton och ny lyster. Behandlingen ökar kollagenstimuleringen och ger pÃ¥ lÃ¥ng sikt en förbättring av hudens kondition och struktur. I2PL-behandling används för hudföryngring, s.k. photo skin rejuvenation, där ljuset verkar pÃ¥ djupet i huden och ökar […]

    Inlägget Hudföryngring dök först upp på Life Long Clinic.

              Interview: dog breeding and responsible pet care        
    By don570 (alternative method to install and new pet packag)
              Associate Lead (Part-Time) - PETSMART - Lloydminster, SK        
    As an Associate Lead, you'll assist customers around the store, open and close the store, complete pet safety inspections and manage the cash office....
    From PetSmart - Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:13:33 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs
              Associate Lead - PETSMART - Lloydminster, SK        
    As an Associate Lead, you'll assist customers around the store, open and close the store, complete pet safety inspections and manage the cash office....
    From PetSmart - Mon, 31 Jul 2017 13:13:21 GMT - View all Lloydminster, SK jobs
              On Sale Moda Fandango Kate Spain Layer Cake NEW by TheKnottedBobbin        


    This is a really pretty line by Kate Spain. There are florals, strips, prints, florals and alot of great colors! Rich aquas, browns, reds and yellows are set off by a creamy background.

    Kate Spain creates a beautiful line of Spanish inspired prints for Moda. The patterns share a distinct pottery or tile feel. Continuing that influence, the colors have weathered dustiness akin to earthen ware, pottery, or tile. Let your creativity flow with this unique collection by Moda.

    Contents: 42 10"x10" quilt fabric squares, cut, with pinked edges, and packaged by Moda
    Please note: There are duplicates of some of the fabric squares to make 42.
    Colors: berry red, summer sky blue, brick, ivory
    Fabric line/collection: Fandango
    Designer: Kate Spain
    Manufacturer: Moda
    Please note: These are NOT flannel or brushed cotton.
    100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabrics from my smoke free, pet free home

    How to slice a layer cake:
    1. Cut 5” x 5” to yield 4 4 ½” x 4 ½” finished squares.
    2. Cut twice diagonally to yield 4 8 ½” quarter square finished triangles (trim ¼”)
    3. Cut 5” x 5” to yield 2 4 ½” x 4 ½” finished squares and 2 ½” x 2 ½” for 8 2” x 2” finished squares.
    4. Cut 5” x 5” and cut once diagonally to yield 8 4” finished half square triangles.
    5. Cut 3” x 3” to yield 9 2 ½” x 2 ½” finished squares. (trim 1”)
    6. Cut 2” x 10” to yield 5 1 ½” x 9 ½” finished strips.
    7. Cut once-diagonally to yield 2 9” finished half square triangles.
    8. 4 4” x 4” finished circles.

              Reusable Sandwich Snack Bag Hot Wheels Car Sack by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags.

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth. You can choose either a snack or sandwich bag or both! You can also choose the amount you would like.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich And Or Snack Bag Moose Tee Pee Bear Arrow Sandwich Woodland Bag by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags and as many bags as you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich And Or Snack Bag The Big Dig Dump Truck Crane Sandwich Snack Bag by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags and as many bags as you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag Set Hedgehog Meadow Eco Friendly by sacksavers        

    12.50 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable sandwich and snack bag set is made with 100% high quality cotton. They are lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. They have a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich and Snack Bag You Choose Size Floral Yellow Polka Dot Eco Friendly by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    I dug in my stash of vintage fabrics to make the cute floral bag. It goes nicely with the yellow polka dot by Riley Blake.

    These eco-friendly reusable sandwich and snack bags are made with 100% high quality cotton. They are lined with a water and stain resistant nylon called ripstop. They have a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!

    You get to choose as many bags as you like in the fabrics you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich Bag Space Girl Boy Eco Friendly Reusable Sack by sacksavers        

    7.00 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable sandwich bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!

    It measures 7 by 7 inches. It can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich And Or Snack Bag Grey Deer Antlers Eco Friendly Sandwich Snack Bag by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags and as many bags as you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich Bag Reusable Snack Bag Strawberry Eco Friendly Bag by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags and as many as you want!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich And Or Snack Bag Blue Arrow Eco Friendly Sandwich Snack Bag by sacksavers        

    6.25 USD

    This eco-friendly reusable bag is made with 100% high quality cotton. It is lined with a water and stain resistant nylon. It has a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!
    You can choose between either a sandwich or snack bag. You can also purchase both bags and as many bags as you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Reusable Sandwich and/or Snack Bags You Choose Fabric Apples Polka Dots Yellow Flowers by sacksavers        

    6.50 USD

    These eco-friendly reusable sandwich and snack bags are made with 100% high quality cotton. They are lined with a water and stain resistant nylon called ripstop. They have a velcro closure. I use a generous strip of velcro keeping your items in the bag and fresh!

    You get to choose as many bags as you like in the fabrics you like!

    The sandwich bag measures 7 by 7 inches and the snack bag measures 6 1/2 inches by 4 1/4 inches. They can be washed in the washing machine and lined dried or you can also wipe out with a damp cloth.

    All of my bags are made in my pet and smoke free home.

    Please note that most of my bags are made after ordered so fabric placement may vary just a bit.
    Also, I do not recommend using the bags for long term food storage. I also recommend using a insulated lunch bag as it helps with freshness.

    I love custom orders and have over a hundred different fabric choices. Just send me a convo if you are interested in a custom order.

    Thanks for stopping by!

              Coque Sony Xperia Z2 clapet Slim (Noir) - 17,99 €         
    thumbCoque clapet texturée Sony Xperia Z2 noir de la marque Case Mate. Protection classique et efficace.
              Dog Health Can Be Improved With a Natural Diet        
    It goes without saying that your dog needs suitable nutrition to remain healthy. Vets and pet food manufacturers often have differing views on appropriate nutrition for your dog. Although commercial pet food manufacturers are motivated in large part by profits, commercially prepared foods are routinely recommended as part of an adequate, or good, diet for your dog. Sometimes your vet or dog breeder may approve of commercially prepared foods as the sole diet of your dog. Many experts, however, tend to prefer a largely natural diet which for dogs is invariably comprised of meat and bones. Raw is preferable to cooked, as some of the minerals are definitely lost in the cooking process.

    The reason why the commercially prepared pet food is so often fed to our dogs, is because, apart from the convenience, it can (depending upon the quality) actually contain many of the nutrients which are essential to your dog. The key word here is quality. There are in fact very, very few commercial manufacturers which produce nutrient-rich food. And they're not the brands you find in your supermarket, or even in most pet stores or vetinarians.

    Raw bones with a little dry food as well as occasional rice or pasta, and perhaps the odd quality food scrap from your table, will generally contain most of the nutrients which your dog needs. All dogs must obtain reasonable nutrition from their food to maintain excellent health and performance. The main nutrients required by your dog are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Vitamin or mineral deficiency in dogs fed a commercially manufactured diet today is not widely publicised. But then again, the slosh and dried formulae which are readily available from your vet or the local supermarket are not the natural diet for your dog. If your dog was left to fend for itself in the wild (assuming it could manage to adapt, that is), would choose raw meat. And one of the reasons why meat, and especially bones, are so good, is the chewing action and the teeth cleaning function which the bones perform.

    Of course, there are also commercially prepared substitutes which can also effectively clean the teeth of your dog and satisfy his/her need to chew. A lesser known fact is that to feed your dog only meat (with no bones and no cereals or other carbohydrate source) can cause severe deficiencies: your dog is likely to become lethargic, sick, and even death has been known to occur from an all meat diet. But what about dogs in the wild, I hear you ask? Isn’t meat a dog’s natural diet? Isn’t that what you just said, Brigitte? Well, yes and no: in the wild dogs eat the whole of their prey, not simply muscle meat - they thus obtain vegetable matter from the digestive tract of their prey, and calcium from the bones. As well, wild dogs occasionally, but routinely, add to their diet with plants, fruit and berries. Most dogs relish some raw fruit and vegetables in their diet, so long as that's what they're used to.

    A dog who has been fed commercially prepared dog food all of its life won't be used to the taste of fresh food, so may well turn up his/her nose if you introduce such healthy food later in life. But persevere - try hand feeding pieces of carrot or apple to begin with. And if your dog is still very young, all the better. Start as you mean to go on and feed him/her some raw fruit and vegetables from time to time. Your dog's health will benefit!
              Preventing Chasing        
    By Donna Brander, Animal Behaviorist

    Everyone is probably aware of why dogs like to chase moving objects. Chasing and bringing down game is at the root of survival for dogs living in the wild. This behavior is even more obvious when the “trigger” for the chase is a cat or a flock of sheep. Less obvious, perhaps, is when the trigger is in the domestic context of a jogger, a cyclist or a car. Depending on which trigger sets a dog off, the conclusion of the chase could be dangerous for the victim or the dog, or both. Therefore, it is a behavior which must be brought under control by the owner.
    The best way to deal with this problem is to avoid it all together. Puppies which are de-sensitized, corrected and/or diverted into socially acceptable behavior from an early age are less likely to become problematic chasers later in life. This means taking your puppy out, under your control, as early as possible. Take the puppy into the environment in which it will be expected to live among all these exciting, stimulating “moving” objects, and have it behave in a socially acceptable manner. A young puppy will begin to de-sensitize to moving objects if they are a regular part of the everyday scene. Your reaction to any potential “chasing” trigger should be to remain calm and you should have lots of diversions and rewards at hand, such as titbits and favorite squeaky toys. If the puppy does not find out how much fun chasing can be and is diverted into more appropriate behavior, it is much less likely to take up the habit later, even when it has a chance. Be particularly aware of the necessity of introducing children to a new puppy.

    Your dog should always be rewarded for returning to you, even if it previously did something wrong. The last thing your dog remembers is that it came to you and you punished it. Your dog does not link the punishment to earlier behavior.
    Unfortunately, most of you are probably thinking “but what about the dog who has been chasing joggers for the past 5 years and my schedule involves getting up at 4am in order to walk the dog and avoid everyone.” Well, you are not alone! There are a large number of you that must hit the street with your dog in the wee hours of the morning in order to avoid meeting other dogs, people, cyclist, joggers, etc. Otherwise, walks are a misery both for the owner and for the dog. The owner is embarrassed by an out of control dog who can never be trusted off lead. The owner would like to allow the dog to play with other dogs, or run freely after thrown objects, but the risk is too great. There is always the chance that the dog will trigger to something else to chase or, even worse, end up injuring itself or its victim. So what is to be done?

    You must now do what should have been done when your dog was still young. You must de-sensitize and divert your dog from the unacceptable behavior. The problem is that your dog now knows how much fun chasing can be; it has found out how little control you have over this behavior; and you may have already lost your temper out of frustration and fear (and embarrassment!) and disciplined your dog when it finally decided to return to you. So now you must back up and start over.
    Try teaching or re-teaching some basic commands. For instance, try using new commands for behavior your dog is supposed to know. If you have been using “Come”, try changing to a dog whistle or, instead of “No” try using “Leave it”. The reasoning behind this is that your dog has been hearing (and ignoring) the old commands for some time now. He also may have linked the old command with unpleasant experiences. Let’s start over! This time you are not to give a command when you cannot control the outcome, and when your dog returns to you it will ALWAYS be praised, petted, played with or given a titbit, or all of the above. Being by your side is absolutely the best place to be.

    On walks, take along the favorite squeaky toy (or titbit) and when your dog begins to “trigger”; i.e. stiffen body, ears alert, focused on moving his moving object, command “Leave it!” and divert the attention to the toy/titbit. Do not wait to make your command when your dog is already in full stride. Try to anticipate your dog’s reaction. Watch for body language which tells you he/she is going to trigger, and make your command at that time. You should remain in control by having the dog on an extended lead or long line during these training sessions. Also, make sure you encourage your dog to play appropriate chase games, such as chasing a Frisbee or a ball.

    It may also be helpful to set up situations in which the victim; i.e. cyclist, jogger etc. “strikes back”. This could be an aversion such as a spray of cold water, or a noise aversion such as a sealed tin of pennies thrown on the pavement near the dog. Timing is crucial. Triggering by the dog should be immediately met with the aversion and then you should immediately bring the dog to your side with the extended lead and whistle where he/she will be met with praise, toys, titbits etc. You are the best place for your dog to be when anything runs by!

    Remember that the longer your dog has been getting away with a behavior, the longer it will take to extinguish it, particularly with behavior such as predatory chasing. Chasing is a primary instinct with the dog and, once allowed, the reward to the dog is so great that it is often difficult to extinguish.

    This information is to be used as guidelines only. Decisions made about the future of any pet should be based on a professional assessment and a course of treatment that is personalised for the pet's individual situation
              Best Little Dog Breeds        
    Best Little Dog Breeds and large dog breeds fit all types of personalities and behaviors. Learn more about the dog in you and how you communicate your love for dogs through our dog breed information.

    Over 500 dog breeds exist in the world today varying in shapes and sizes and exhibit unique habits and personalities. These dog breeds are quite distinctive, most possessing characteristics inherent to their particular breed type. There are small dog breeds, small mixed breed dogs, Best Little Dog Breeds and large dog breeds in each breed type. Breed types include Hounds, which are bred to hunt and work with humans; Toys, which are great adult companions; and Terriers, which are excellent dogs for training.

    After your research of dog breeds, you may find that small mixed breed dogs suit you as the Best Little Dog Breeds. Essentially, researching a variety of dog breed information is the way to find the animal that best fits your needs and ensures that the dog you choose will have a loving home.

    All too often, pets and pet owners personalities are not compatible, resulting in relinquishment, abandonment and/or abuse. If you are in the market for a dog, research dog breed information to see which breed fits your lifestyle and personality best. Once you've welcomed a new pet or dog breed into your home, all you have to worry about is finding the right pet name.

    If you are in the market for a dog, research dog breed information to see which breed fits your lifestyle and personality best. Good luck finding the Best Little Dog Breeds.
              Prisoners for Profit - The Shame of Puppy Mills        
    It was summer when I visited puppy mills in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. In the last few years, the area has become a hub for large scale commercial dog breeding operations. And although the Midwest still ranks as containing the highest number of dog breeding operations, the concentration of puppy mills in Lancaster County is unparalleled.

    Accompanying me was a Humane Society of the United States investigator who had monitored the Pennsylvania mills for years. He knew the county well, and had seen not only the proliferation of puppy mills in the area, but at the same time, the increased press and public attention in their operations.

    Driving through the pastoral landscape, it seemed impossible that animal suffering could exist amidst such beauty. This illusion was quickly shattered with my first view of a puppy mill. For years, I had seen and studied photos of infamous facilities, but nothing prepared me for seeing the real thing with my own eyes.
    We approached a farmhouse from the road and turned onto a muddy lane. Rounding the corner, we didn't even have to get out of the truck to see or hear what awaited us. Rows of dilapidated cages were lined up outside a barn. Stopping the truck, my throat constricted with shock. Dogs were crammed three or more to a small cage which were elevated over mounds of feces. Matted fur covered their eyes as they rushed towards the front of their cages, barking at uninvited visitors. Their plight was so dramatically different than the dogs I knew, the dogs who lie lazily in afternoon sun, waiting for their next meal or walk. No, these dogs were here for a purpose and only one purpose: to make money.

    We saw many mills that day. Posing as buyers, we were able to handle and examine some of the puppies. Many seemed sickly, disoriented, and underweight. And when we were allowed to see their mothers, or sneaked onto a farm to view the conditions, the hopelessness of their lives weighed on me like a heavy load that rests on my shoulders even to this day.

    Dogs hold a special place in our hearts. Domesticated thousands of years ago, they were chosen to be our protectors, companions, and best friends. And although we have betrayed our responsibility towards them in many ways, none is so distressing or disturbing as the puppy mill.

    The term "puppy mill," coined in the mid-to-late sixties to describe large scale commercial dog breeding facilities, has only recently arrived in the mainstream vernacular. It is a term that some claim is sensational and manipulative. The word "mill" refers to an operation that churns out dogs in mass, using female dogs as nothing more than breeding machines. The term conjures images of dogs crowded in wire cages, living in their own wastes, shivering from the cold, or baking in the heat. Tragically, this vision is not far from reality. Most people, not just those interested in animal protection, are shocked when confronted with the bleak images of dogs housed and bred in puppy mills. But in the 5,000 puppy mills found across the country, thousands of dogs are bred and raised for profit, valued not for their companionship or loyalty, but for the cold hard cash they bring.

    Many consumers possess an image of puppies at a family farm, lovingly raised and cared for. Others may not even think about where a pet store puppy comes from. Drawn to a pet store window by a bin of wriggling puppies, the furthest thing from a customer's mind is the origin of these cute bundles of fur. But by buying a puppy, often for a price of $500 or more, the consumer is unknowingly supporting a cycle of abuse that begins at the puppy mill.

    What the consumer can't see is the puppy's mother, imprisoned miles away, pregnant again, her body being used to produce more money-making puppies. Starting at six months, she is bred every heat cycle. She is often weak, malnourished, and dehydrated. Rarely, if ever, is she provided with veterinary care. She cannot maintain her productivity past her fourth or fifth year. After that, she is nothing more than a drain on the mill's operation and must be disposed of. If she's lucky, she'll be humanely euthanized. More often than not, she will be shot or bludgeoned to death. Discarded, her wasted body will lie forgotten in a local landfill or garbage dump.

    This is the picture the pet stores will never show. And until recently, the ugly truth of puppy mills has been hidden. But when problems with many of the puppies bought at pet stores across the country began to surface, consumers and animal lovers alike began asking hard questions. Puppies with seizures, parasites, infections, bacteria, and behavioral problems were being seen far too often to be merely coincidental.
    Puppy mills and the pet store industry have begun to feel this scrutiny. They insist that it doesn't make good business sense to sell sick puppies or house breeding females in less than humane conditions. But evidence gained after years of documentation and investigation directly conflicts with these assertions. In addition, those small scale breeders who do treat their animals humanely, who raise them in their homes or in small, cleanly kept kennels, do not usually make a profit off their dogs. It is virtually impossible to breed in a humane fashion and make money at the same time. Although a pet store may sell a puppy for $500 or more dollars, most commercial breeders can only get around $35 per dog from a broker who in turns sells to the pet store for around $75. In order to make a profit and cover costs, corners must be cut, and puppies must be churned out at a furious rate. The cut corners are the animals themselves: their housing, their health, their cleanliness. Inherent in the profit-making mills is the sacrifice of humane standards in order to make a profit.
    What protection, if any, do these dogs and their puppies have? On the state level, puppy "lemon laws," existing in a handful of states including New Jersey and California, seek to offer consumers protection against buying sick puppies. Although these laws do chip away at the production of sick puppies, they do not address the inherent problem of the whole system: the selling of dogs for profit.

    The federal level offers even less hope. The current system not only allows the continuation of a business that makes money off the backs of dogs, but fails in its responsibility to provide even a basic quality of life for dogs in puppy mills. Originally passed in 1966, the federal Animal Welfare Act was amended in 1970 to include in its provisions the oversight of large scale commercial dog breeding facilities. Regulations were written with the intention of ensuring the proper care, feeding, housing, and veterinary care for the thousands of dogs found in puppy mills across the country. Mandated by law to enforce these regulations is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). But with a shortage of inspectors responsible for overseeing these facilities, the agency has developed a reputation for failing to meet its mandate.
    Not only have outsiders criticized the agency's ability to enforce the Act in relation to puppy mills, but several internal reviews have also illustrated the gross inadequacies existing at the federal level. Recently, a damning internal review conducted by the USDA's own office of the Inspector General of the agency's South Central Regional Office offered a bleak picture. The South Central Office, responsible for overseeing the majority of this country's puppy mills, was found to be sorely lacking in its ability to enforce the Animal Welfare Act. The report found that the office failed to respond to complaints from the public, failed to report a large number of blatant violations of the law, and that supervisors told inspectors not only where and when to inspect, but instructed their staff not to write up too many violations of problematic facilities. USDA Secretary Dan Glickman, embarrassed by the report's finding, has demanded the development of an internal plan to respond to the crisis within the agency.

    The USDA is also feeling the heat over the puppy mill issue from members of Congress. After receiving constituent mail on puppy mills, Congressman Glenn Poshard (D-Il) and Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), sprung to action. Working with The Humane Society of the United States and other animal protection organizations, they gathered over 100 signatures from members on both side of Capitol Hill in a letter to Secretary Glickman expressing concern about the problems found in puppy mills across the country. Sent late last summer, the letter has caused anxiety within the USDA.

    This Spring, the agency will consider enacting stronger regulations covering puppy mills as well as examining ways in which their enforcement powers can be increased. Although any change in the way puppy mills are regulated is an improvement, and stiffer rules may even shut down or discourage potential operators from opening a facility, the changes will not directly eliminate the mills themselves. Until the demand for mass-produced pet store puppies decreases, there will always be a buck to be made in the production of dogs.

    Rachel A. Lamb is Director for Companion Animal Care at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in Washington, DC.

    Dog Training
              House Training a Dog        
    One of the most common themes in dog training concerns problems people have with house training their dogs.

    When house training goes well new pet owners assume that this is a cake walk and it should be like this all the time. These people are wrong. More often than not problems come up and when that happens people get frustrated.

    The fact is there are many many reasons that puppies and older dogs develop house training problems. There is no one silver bullet that is going to fix each and every dogs problem. With this said the solution to all house training problems lies in owner education.

    Before owners can solve their dog’s problem they must first have a clear picture of the correct way to house train a dog. I have written an article on House training which is on my web site.

    This purpose for article is to help pull a lot of information from my web site together so dog owners can develop a game plan on solving their house own training problems.

    When problems arise pet owners almost always often fall into a common trap. They start to ask family and friends what they can do to fix these house training problems. Unfortunately most these people are unqualified and lack the experience to offer accurate advice. This results in a lot of bad information being passed out which only makes the problems worse.

    Here are some of the most common problems areas.

    Puppies usually can’t hold it for 8 hours until they are 16 weeks old. With this said some have problems until they are 6 to 7 months old some are good at 8 weeks. Usually dogs on an all natural diet do better because they poop about 5 times less than commercial kibble.

    You have to use a dog crate, If your not prepared to do this, quit reading and move on because you are wasting your time. You are not going to reinvent the wheel by doing this without a crate.

    In the beginning take your dog out a lot. The concept is to teach the dog that “if it holds it just a little longer you are going to take it outside”

    The way we house train a dog in our home (both puppies and adults) is explained in detail in the article I wrote titled THE GROUNDWORK TO BECOMING A PARK LEADER

    It takes a dog about 5 seconds to pee. This translates into a simple rule which is “NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF YOUR DOG – not even for 5 seconds”

    Those “pee pads” that pet stores sell are the dumbest idea I have ever heard. They teach dogs to pee and poop in the house.

    We don’t let our dogs to have free time in the house until they are 2 to 3 years old. If a dog has an accident in the house they go right back to square one and start again. Some dogs can not be house trained to the extent that they can be left alone inside the house (out of the crate) when you are gone.

    If you have a dog that’s between 8 weeks and 16 weeks of age I strongly recommend that you get my DVD titled Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months

    If your dog is 4 to 5 months old I recommend my 4 hr DVD titled Basic Dog Obedience. Obedience training is one of the steps in teaching our dogs that are “RIGHT” and “WRONG” things to do in life. The fact is if you as a pet owner find yourself in a problem with house training you have more to learn than your dog. My 10,000 page web site, and my web discussion board with over 100,000 posts in it’s archives can help you through this process.

    By Ed Fawley
              [Article] Air-Sealing Tips for Efficiency That Lasts // Part 3: Planning for Intentional (and Some Unintentional) Holes in the Air Barrier        
    This is part 3 of a series that describes how to air seal the most difficult parts of buildings. We’ve emphasized throughout this series that continuity is the top priority for your air barrier. Holes and penetrations are the enemy. So how do we deal with doors, windows, and utilities—“holes” that are necessary for the design of a habitable building? Even a perfect air barrier must have penetrations for windows, doors, electric cables, water and sewage lines, telecom lines, and ventilation. Beyond these indispensible penetrations, some buildings have to be designed to accommodate pet doors, ...
              Jewelry for Band Geeks        
    Any Band Geeks out there? My husband played trumpet in his high school marching band, and continued as a member of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. Now my daughter is following suit, playing his horn in her school marching band. Over the past 20+ years, I have attended and cheered at many a band […]
              Rocky Horror Picture Show Poppet        
    My geek craft crush today is Lanikins over at Craftster. A resident of Colorado, Lanikins makes the most wonderful poppets. Her poppet version of Frank N. Furter from the Rocky Horror Picture Show is no exception. He was recently made for a swap, so Lanikins didn’t get to keep him. He was also named a […]

    Jag satt precis, instängd på mitt rum, och försökte skriva en lista med saker som jag brinner för när det slog mig, jag brinner inte för någonting alls. Visst kunde saker som träning, dans och fester tvingas fram men när det kom till kritan och jag skulle säga ”jo, men det här, det här är det jag vill syssla med i resten av mitt liv”, så var det tomt. Helt blankt. Jag har nog ingen passion i livet och jag brinner nog inte för något speciellt och ja, det känns som att det måste vara fel på mig.

    Frågar man mina vänner eller närstående är svaren allt från piano och innebandy till feminism och ridning, vilket i och för sig självfallet är underbara intressen, men samtidigt berör dessa sysselsättningar inte mig det minsta. Jag känner ingen glädje och ingen tillfredsställelse av att utöva exempelvis innebandy eller ridning, inget driv som får mig att vilja lära mig mer, spela mer eller ägna mer tid åt det och det är en oerhört bekymrande känsla. Att sätta ord på dessa tankar och känslor är också något som har tagit emot under en ganska lång period eftersom denna olust känns förbjuden på ett vis. Det enda man hör nu för tiden är något i stil med att man ska syssla med vad man brinner för, följa sitt hjärta och gå sin egen väg. Men om du inte har någon väg då. Om ditt hjärta är tyst som en mus och du inte brinner för ett endaste knyst, vad gör man då? Det är aldrig någonting som tas upp det där.

    Detta här är inte bara någonting som känns förbjudet utan nästan till och med något ganska genant. Kan detta tillstånd klassas som en sjukdom? För det är just så det känns. Det känns som om jag är sjuk på något vrickat och knasigt sätt. Kommer mina ögon någonsin att lysa upp när jag passionerat babblar på om det jag brinner för och kommer jag någonsin bli så exalterad att jag knappt kan bärga mig till nästa gång? Jag hoppas det, men som nuläget ligger till ser det inte ljust ut alltså.

    Något som också har korsat mina tankar i samband med denna oro är att man kanske faktiskt inte behöver veta vad ens passion är. Kanske kan man gå genom livet svävandes i något slags mellanläge. Med det menar jag att man sysselsätter sig med vad som än gör en lycklig just där och då, att man liksom håller många olika alternativ tillgängliga och stålsätter sig med ett otroligt öppet sinne. Anledningen till kravet på det öppna sinnet är såklart att man omöjligtvis kan ana vad som väntar eller hur man kommer att reagera när man utsätter sig för den nya aktiviteten.

    Detta inlägg blev inte alls vad jag tänkt mig, kanske en aning för deprimerat om jag ska vara ärlig. Men sammanfattningsvis är det värt att säga att ifall du inte har en självklar passion så kan du antingen sträva efter att hitta en och inte ge upp förrän du vet din mening med livet eller så kan du göra som jag, acceptera det och belåtet sväva i det osäkra mellanläget.

              Sonos Play 5 smidig högtalare med grym botten!        

    Sonos Play 5 är flaggskeppet i Sonos sortiment och är en grym högtalare i den trÃ¥dlösa musikanläggningen. Streama musik och radio genom Sonos-appen trÃ¥dlöst frÃ¥n din smartphone, surfplatta eller dator genom ett par enkla knapptryck. Njut av musiken frÃ¥n din egen digitala musiksamling pÃ¥ datorn eller NAS, eller varför inte använda Spotify och Wimp. För […]

    The post Sonos Play 5 smidig högtalare med grym botten! appeared first on SmartHifi.se.

              Smertefull Pepperkakehusfødsel        

    I Ã¥r som i fjor, og som Ã¥ret før der røk Blomsterstjernen til i et heseblesende peppekakehus-prosjekt ogsÃ¥ denne gang. Da mÃ¥ det vel kunne kalles en tradisjon?  Dog en tradisjon i utvikling. For det startet sÃ¥ uskyldig med drømmen om Ã¥ bake et av verdens minste pepperkakehus. Du vet sÃ¥nne minipepperkakehus som fÃ¥r plass i fyrstikkesker, ring-esker og sÃ¥pebobler? SÃ¥ vokste det litt Ã¥r for Ã¥r. I fjor hadde maxi-mini-pepperkakehuset endatil vokst seg ut av bÃ¥de glasskuppel og kakefat. Og i Ã¥r? Ja sÃ¥ mÃ¥tte jo pepperkakehuset selvsagt bli enda litt mer voluminøst. Det er jo akkurat det som er selve tradisjonen... Å overgÃ¥ seg selv.

    Det siste Ã¥ret har Blomsterstjernen blitt helt hektet pÃ¥ tanken om husbygging, ikke bare i pepperkakeland, men ogsÃ¥ i virkeligheten. Han drømmer rett og slett om Ã¥ tegne og bygge sitt eget hus, han mangler bare tomten. Som aller helst skal være bÃ¥de stor og koselig, flat og bratt, ha morgensol og kveldssol, enorm utsikt og ingen innsikt, med bÃ¥de sjølinje og høyfjells-natur. Tomten mÃ¥ være bÃ¥de østvendt, sørvendt, vestvendt og nordvendt, godkjent og byggeklar og aller helst ligge midt pÃ¥ LandÃ¥s. Samtidig mÃ¥ ikke tomten ligge i et byggefelt og selvsagt skal den være til salgs for en latterlig billig penge... Glemte jeg Ã¥ si at den godt kan inneholde en gammel frukthage med store epletrær? Sitter du pÃ¥ en slik tomt? Kontakt meg gjerne...

    Men Blomsterstjernen innser nå at eneste tomten som noenlunde innfrir hans krav (bortsett fra de økonomiske og plangodkjente) er et par tusen hekto-dekar av Ulrikens topp...

    Eneste aktuelle tomt ligger midt i på bildet: 1000 dekar med sjølinje, høyfjell og 360 graders utsikt.

    Som følge av denne svært sÃ¥ vage husbyggerdrømmen har Blomsterstjernen lekt seg med arkitektoniske verktøy og konstruert mangfoldige drømmehus (for ham selv). Tanken var derfor: "hvorfor ikke sette et av disse arkitektoniske vidunderne ut i live som pepperkakehus?" 

    Valget falt på den aller siste konstruksjon - skreddersydd for en trekantet tomt. Et stort hovedhus med soveromsfløy på loftet og alle bruksrom samt utleiedel i første etasje. Med 60 kvadrats stue og kjøkken i eget utbygg, med høy takrygg og utsikt i alle tenkelige retninger. Fint på papiret ihvertfall.

    Hus-maler i skala 1:66 printet direkte ut fra Google Sketch-up.

    Ved hjelp av stødig skalpellføring transformeres mal for mal til autentiske pepperkakedeigkopier

    Et godt triks er å dyppe kniven i litt olje når man skjærer ut. Da slipper den deigen lettere.

    Etter utskjæringer er det lurt å jevne over kantene med en oljetilgriset kniv

    Ca 12 timer senere var vinduene utskjærte og kakene klare for steking

    Men det man helt hadde glemt er at pepperkakedeig er akkurat som oss mennesker. Den perfekte malen man ser i starten av 20-årene har en lei tendens til å ese ut på de mest utenkelige steder etterhvert som man runder 40, 50, 60 og 70... år (eller grader Celsius)...

    (Et godt tips: Skal man velge kjæreste er det en god idé å studere moren og faren før man slår til... Da vet man noenlunde hva man kan forvente seg om 20-30-40 år)

    Tilbake i pepperkakeverden. Blomsterstjernen trodde nemlig han var smart ved å benytte ferdiglaget pepperkakedeig fra Rema 1000 til husbyggerprosjektet sitt. Men det viste seg å være VELDIG feil! Deigen var tydeligvis stappet med bakepulver og natron til langt oppetter ørene... De nøyaktig tilmålte malene este ut som de verste sofagriser og måtte fettsuges og finkappes rett etter steking for gjøre huset noenlunde byggbart...

    Fettsugd pepperkakevegg - avkappet ut-est overflødig pepperkakemasse

    I Ã¥r skulle det ogsÃ¥ debuteres med gelatinvinduer. Det hørtes jo sÃ¥ lett ut..? Bare til Ã¥ lime platene rett pÃ¥ baksiden av pepperkakeveggene. Men alle som har jobbet med smeltet farin vet vel hvor umÃ¥telig vanskelig dette er! Sukkeret klisser og størkner lenge før man er klar. 

    Blomsterstjernen prøvde derfor en ny oppskrift denne gang. Et oppkok av sukker tilsatt vann, uten at det gav den helt store opplevelsen. Enten størknet det for sent, eller så utkrystalliserte det seg for fort. Resultatet var at vinduene hang og slang og måtte reddes med litt lys sirup. Til neste år bruker man tape!!!

    Gelatinering - Et helsikkens prosjekt!

    Det ble også utprøvd en ny type melisglasur, kjent som Royal Icing. Stivpisket eggehvite med melis og sitron. Den var langt sterkere enn vanlig melis men klarte likevel ikke stå for egen maskin i løse luften...

    Joda. Gelatinvinduene som skulle ta i mot sprossene falt av, samtidig som den 6 mnd gamle babyen hylskrek i bakgrunnen... Kjempe stemning!

    Selvfølgelig var Blomsterstjernen "alenepappa" til 3 akkurat denne kvelden da huset skulle danderes. Midt i sukkersmelting, liming og banning (og steking) nektet den 6 mnd gamle å sove, med påfølgende hylskriking, mens de "store" barna våknet og ville på do, ha vann, og sang, og kos, og eventyr. Fra en pappa tilgriset av utgnidd melis, svidd sukker og smeltet gelatin. Gode forhold i bakken!

    Stemningen ble ikke akkurat bedre da far så seg selv i speilet...

    En SVÆRT fargerik bakepus...
    Ikke rart barna ikke fikk sove?

    Men det var, som alltid før, bare til å bite tennene sammen og prøve å få de misformede bitene til å passe sånn noenlunde sammen og heller kamuflere skavankene med STORE doser snø og melisglasur. (Vi merker oss det ironiske ordspillet: "glad-sur")

    Til tross for at taket på utbygget hadde vokst minst like ukontrollert som øyenbrynene på en 80-åring, minnet det da fremdeles om et hus?

    Og etter et kraftig snøfall forsvant de fleste spor av mangelfull konstruksjon...

    Full fyr i stue og kjøkken! Så varmt at taket begynner å sige?

    Om man myser kan man faktisk se mini-Blomsterstjernen bake minipeppekakehus inne bak melis og gelatin?

    Og inne bak kjøkkenvinduene utspiller det seg en ellevill bloggefest med samtlige 137 følgere tilstede!
    Nordsiden av huset er preget av svært lokale doser "pølse-snø". 

    Å bygge pepperkakehus er vel omtrent som å føde? Det gjør fryktelig vondt der og da, men med tid og stunder så glemmer man både utfordringene, smertene og banningen...

    Men for at forløpet skal gå så smidig som mulig for seg til neste år, har Blomsterstjernen laget en huskeliste:

    (Note to self and others)
    1. Sett av en uke til prosjektet. Ta fri fra jobb, send koner og barn på anstalt under bygningsarbeidet.
    2. Lag pepperkakedeigen selv, UTEN bakepulver eller natron. Gjerne med utgangspunkt i denne.
    3. Ikke lag for avanserte maler med innhukk og krimskrams.
    4. Fukt malene forsiktig med matolje, feks vha en svamp. Da er de lettere å fjerne før steking.
    5. Dypp kniven i matolje slik at den hele tiden glir lett gjennom deigen.
    6. Bak deigen ut rett på bakepapir. Klipp deretter ut huselementene og samle på ett brett etterpå.
    7. Lag vinduene litt større enn tiltenkt slik at det også blir plass til melis-vinduskarm inne i selve vindurammen. Da blir det finere.
    8. Stek på relativt lav temperatur 160-180 grader. Ca 12 min.
    9. Sjekk pepperkake-veggene opp mot malen rett etter steking for om mulig skjære bort overflødig materiale. Juster også vinduene som har en tendens til å ese innover.
    10. Fest gelatinvinduene med tape eller sirup. (påfør sirup vha sugerør)
    11. Åshild har et godt alternativ til gelatin: "Knus sukkertøydrops i den fargen du ønsker og fyll i vindushullene. Dette smelter i stekeovnen og fyller ut rammen. Etter avkjøling stivner det til dropsvinduer"
    12. Bruk Royal Icing istedenfor vanlig melis.
    13. Bruk smeltet sukker til å sette sammen husveggene, men få HJELP av naboens nabo.
    14. Evt følg tips fra Cecilie: "Smeltede Smørbukk-karameller gir et perfekt superlim som man kan putte inn i alle sprekker uten å svi av seg fingrene. I tillegg er det også nesten pepperkakefarget."
    15. Bruk LED-lys inne i huset for å unngå brann...
    Jaja. Etter mye om og men kom Blomsterstjernen seg likevel i mål - også i år! Og når man demper lyset og myser ganske så kraftig så ser det også ganske så hjemmekoselig ut inne i "drømmehuset/mareritthuset". Men det spørs likevel om Blomsterstjernen ville gått for akkurat denne husmodellen i virkeligheten. Utbygget ble kanskje for vulgært? Så sånn sett hadde prosjektet også sin funksjon.

    God natt! Nå må dere huske å slukke LED-lyset der inne?

    Lærdommen er at det nok er LANGT lettere å bygge med hammer, spiker og justert trevirke enn pepperkakedeig, sukker og kniv...

    Ønsker med dette alle som ikke har bygget årets pepperkakehus enda lykke til!
    (dere kan trenge det)

    Del gjerne flere gode pepperkakehustriks i kommentarfeltet her!

              Ã… lure en tannlege er Ã¥ lure seg selv...        

    Å leve og bo med en tannlege har sine absolutte utfordringer, spesielt for alle oss som sympatiserte og heiet pÃ¥ Karius og Baktusbror i den klassiske thrilleren signert Egner/Caprino. Tenk at det gÃ¥r an Ã¥ være sÃ¥ sjofel? Å bare rive bort to sÃ¥nne artig-perer fra bÃ¥de hus og hjem! Med fullt overlegg. Uten erstatning... I beste sendetid!?!  Den unge Blomsterstjernen syntes oppriktig synd pÃ¥ de to krølltassene.

    En hel generasjon av foreldre ble massesuggert til Ã¥ ta knekken pÃ¥ alt knekk. Men heldigvis (for Karius og Baktus) fantes det noen fÃ¥ unntak, noen dypt tiltrengte frisoner for sukkerkandis og farinade... OgsÃ¥ kalt sosialboliger  - et topphemmelig himmelrike for Kariuser og Baktuser! Blomsterstjernen var att pÃ¥ til sÃ¥ heldig at han pÃ¥ barneskolen gikk i klasse med en jente fra et slikt hjem, med matvaner sÃ¥ obskure at Torbjørn Egner nok snudde seg i graven flere ganger om dagen, selv lenge før han døde!

    Blomsterstjernen sørget derfor en sjelden gang for Ã¥ snike seg med denne venninnen hjem. Der var det nemlig sirup til frokost, middag og kvelds. Lysehvitt loff med dobbelsukret lys sirup fra mandag til søndag..! For et herlig liv! Tenkte vi den gang...

    Blomsterstjernen og klassevenninnen fotografert rett etter middag i sosialboligen...

    Men de tidene er forbi.... for lengst (om de i det hele tatt har vært..?)! I klørne på en tannlege lever man som man kan forstå i et hermetisk lukket "de-farinisert" samfunn. Sukker kun til lørdags, og da stort sett i moderate tilmålte mengder. Selvsagt skjærer det seg en gang i blant... Her forleden kom f.eks. Blomsterstjernen i skade for å spise en trekvart Freia Melkesjokolade på egenhånd!?! 153 gram livsfarlig dop rett i blodbanen! Tennene klapret av glede. Insulinkjertlene gikk amok. Tannlegekonen fikk visuelt overført glukose-sjokk og var rystet langt inn i innvollene! Hun kompenserte sporenstreks med å putte i seg en hel pose marsipan for å være skuls. Og innvollene ble ikke bedre av den grunn...

    Men stort sett spiser Blomsterstjerenfamilien sunt og godt. Saltmat til middag, søtmat til dessert. Og da aller helst naturens egen søtmat. Det var derfor svært fristende Ã¥ bryte litt opp i dette sedvanlige sunnhetsmønsteret da konemor hadde bursdag denne uken. Far og datter hadde derfor lagt en slu plan om Ã¥ snu opp ned pÃ¥ alt man forventer av en sunn norsk middag... 

    Etter flere ukers forberedelser var menyen klar! Ved første øyekast også nokså tradisjonell?

    Tradisjonell meny? Pizza til middag, muffins til dessert... Ikke noe nytt ved det?

    Men selvsagt var det en liten "twist"... 

    Den slue planen var nemlig å bytte litt rundt på det forventede - ved å servere søt pizza og salte muffins! Akkurat som i bakvendt land. Etter måneder med forskning og ekspedisjoner i all verdens matbutikker var ingredienslistene klare. Målet var jo at øyet likevel skulle bli lurt til å tro at Pizzaen var salt som en svett mann og Muffinsen søt som en nydusjet dame.

    Søtt eller salt? Sunn glede eller djevelens verk?

    Far og datter byttet derfor ut den sedvanlige pizzadeigen med søt bolledeig. Tomatsausen måtte vike for bringebærsyltetøy. Paprika ble erstattet av røde, gule og grønne smågodt-frukter. Serranoskinken ble forbyttet med røde flate sukkergele-lisser. Mens marshmallows viste seg å være det perfekte substitutt for mozzarella kuler! Tilslutt var det bare til å raspe en hel pakke marsipan over pizzaen med funksjon som falsk hvitost....

    Far og datter gliste fornøyd! Om man myste godt med øynene (og holdt seg for nesen) kunne den nok på en god dag forveksles med en helt ekte middagspizza. Den var klar for neste etappe. 14 minutt på 225 grader!

    14 minutt senere: Nystekt super-sunn pizza..? (Den ene "mozzarellakulen" hang merkverdig godt fast i grytekluten...)

    Tiden var inne! Tannlegen kunne endelig inviteres inn på det superhemmelige bakekjøkkenet. På et bursdagspyntet spisebord ventet et hav av stearinlys en deilig nybakt pizza. Tannlegen ble rundlurt! - ihvertfall et lite tidel... "Men det luktet da voldsomt bringebær av den pizzaen?!?" Merkelig...

    BÃ¥de barn og voksne fikk hvert sitt moderate stykke pizza servert pÃ¥ tallerkenen. "Nam!" - ropte de minste... Tannlegens øyne snurret som i en karusell. Men mot alle odds smakte det faktisk langt bedre enn fryktet -  i et lite tidel, eller to, eller tre.

    Men det er noe med at når kroppen er innstilt på saltmat og middag, så blir søtmat rett og slett helt feil... Pizzaen var forståelig nok eksepsjonelt søt og inneholdt antageligvis like mye sukker som det forbrukes av hele tannlegeforeningen i løpet av et gjennomsnittlig år? Og det skulle også gi sine tydelige utslag på den sukkerfølsomme familien...

    Etter bare ett fortært pizzastykke gikk samtlige medlemmer av Blomsterstjernefamilien inn i akutt diabetes-sjokk! Sukkeret tok alle snareveier det kom over og vandret rett i hjerne- og hjertebark. Kvalmen fôr som en monsun rundt kjøkkenbordet... Ingen orket tanken på å smake på så mye som en smule til.

    "Litt" mer middagsrester igjen enn vanlig...

    Heldigvis var det snart dessert! Men også desserten luktet litt annerledes enn man kunne forvente?!? Saltbakte muffins med grovt mel, urter fra Provence, spekeskinke, chorizo pølse og cheddarost.

    Saltbakte grove kjøttmuffins til dessert

    Aldri før har en dessert vært mer kjærkommen! Middagsmuffinsene smakte av deilig salt; - sukkerets verste fiende og eliminator! Vel ombord i kroppen gikk saltet umiddelbart til angrep og kjempet nÃ¥deløst ned sukkermolkeyl for sukkermolekyl fra hjerte til  hjerne. Snart begynte middagsgjestene Ã¥ fÃ¥ tilbake deler av gangsynet.

    Men som følge av det forkvalmende sukkersjokket var det likevel bare så vidt man klarte å presse i seg desserten.

    Deilig kattemat fra Whiskas?

    Vanligvis er jo pizzarester svært populære innslag i matboksen neste dag. Men akkurat denne gang var det merkelig nok ingen som ville ta på seg ansvaret... Pizzarestene ville antageligvis gjøre langt større furore som kattemat nede hos den tidligere klassevenninnen?

    Fire manns verk - 20 ml forsvunnet.

    Tradisjonen tro skal det også serveres Lerum's julebrus når tannlegen har bursdag. Selvsagt i forsiktige former. Men selv ikke 4 (og en halv) tørste sjeler orket fortære mer enn 20 ml julebrus tilsammen! Iskaldt (sukkerfritt) vann var av en eller annen grunn langt mer populært akkurat denne ettermiddagen.

    Ja sÃ¥nn gÃ¥r det altsÃ¥ nÃ¥r man prøver Ã¥ lure en tannlege... 

    Alle var likevel enige om at påfunnet var svært artig og ikke minst kreativt, men at det kanskje ikke fungerte helt optimalt på middags-sultne kropper? For selv om smaken i og for seg var god, så var dette samtidig den verste "bursdags-middagen" i manns minne. (For ikke å si "konens minne")

    Hadde man bare byttet rundt og startet med desserten..?

    Dessert eller middag? Missert eller Deddag?

    Det hasardiøse middagsprosjektet gav også en liten sekundæreffekt, man strengt tatt kunne vært foruten?

    Blomsterstjernen liker jo ikke å kaste mat, og da det viste seg at man hadde laget dobbelt så mye bolle/pizza-deig som nødvendig, ja sto man jo i en liten knipe. Svært beklagelig var det også at både syltetøyboks og marshmallows-pose fremdeles bugnet av sukkerholdige kvaliteter? Det var rett og slett ikke annen råd enn å trille ut den resterende bolledeigen å stapp-fylle den med bringebær og sukkerskum til det tøt ut i alle kanter...

    8 minutt senere sto man der med 8 gigantiske sprekkfulle sukkermonster i hende - som man ikke vet sin arme råd med.

    Supersøte reserveboller til første besøkende... (kun 1 million kalorier pr gram)

    Førstemann som tør besøke Blomsterstjernen kan derfor vente seg noe EKSTRA EKSTRA søtt til kaffen!
    Blir det deg/deig?

    Jeg lover herved, på ære og tro, å aldri lure en tannlege igjen!
    (ihvertfall ikke på denne måten)

    Ønsker alle en sukkerfri adventshelg,

    Dersom noen skulle ønske å få tilsendt smaksprøver på disse ultrasøte skumbollene er det bare til å gi beskjed her i kommentarfeltet så sender jeg vederlagsfritt i hele Norden.

              Adoptert Riddersporing        
    Bilde lånt av "Mormor og de åtte bloggene" - (Hagelivet på Solbakkjen)

    Joda. Jada. Du har helt rett...

    Blomsterstjernen har vært helt elendig håpløs både når det gjelder haging og blogging den siste tiden. Bekymrede naboer har gjentatte ganger truet med å melde meg til plantevernet. Det mumles høylydt om at plantene vanskjøttes og at de nok ville fått det bedre på et plantehjem. Samtidig er Google rasende! De klarer rett og slett ikke fylle fredags-morgenene med internet-trafikk etter at Blomsterstjernen fikk fredagskollaps.

    Blomsterstjernens stolte svulmende Riddersporebed pr juli 2013

    Bare for å gjøre det hele komplett har samtlige av mine 137 gode gamle bloggvenner forlatt meg i harnisk. De burde ihvertfall det. Her på nyåret lovde jo Blomsterstjernen at han i 2013 skulle være MYYYYYYYYYYYYE flinkere til å besøke sine medhagebloggere. Hvor mange har han besøkt? Toppen to siden januar (og det var til og med i embets medføre)... Nei, han skulle skamme seg skulle han! For når man ikke får det helt til selv, så er det jo deilig å kunne leve livet gjennom andre?

    Vel, delvis gjør han vel gjerne også det i disse dager. Blomsterstjernen fikk nemlig en gledens melding her forleden. Riddersporefrøene han loddet ut til bursdagen i fjor har tydeligvis gjort stor furore i andre sine hager! Fantastisk :) Kanskje det ikke er så dumt om plantevernet kommer og henter plantene mine allikevel? Så kan jeg heller beundre dem bak et skyhøyt piggtrådgjerde i en bugnende velfungerende hage, sperret for plantemishandlere? Det er uansett svært hyggelig å adoptere bort noen hjelpeløse smårollinger for deretter se dem bokstavelig talt blomstre opp i andre hjem.

    Både Drømmeriet og Hagelivet på Solbakkjen kunne nemlig vise til storfangst allerede første sesong! Fantastiske dyp-blå riddersporer som snytt ut av hamsen på Blomsterstjernens tidligere stoltheter.

    Selv katten på Drømmeriet ble stum av beundring! (Bildet er lånt av Drømmeriet)

    At staudefrøene klarte å fremskape blomstrende blomster allerede første år viser vel bare at frøene må ha vært stappet av knusktørt krutt? Eventuelt må damene bak "så-bragden" være magikere? Min personlige erfaring er jo at staudefrø ofte trenger 2 år (minst) før de er tøffe nok til å by på litt farge i kjakene.

    Mormors fostersønn i stram givakt - (Hagelivet på Solbakkjen)

    Men oppskriften skal visstnok være lekende enkel. Jeg har nemlig klart Ã¥ hacke meg inn i hvelvene hos bÃ¥de Tone og Tone. 


    Trikset er tydeligvis å så frøene innendørs allerede i november! Etter et døgn inne i varmen (slik at frøene trekker til seg fuktighet) settes hele plante-kassen ut til overvintring. Vinter, sno og sludd er visst som musikk i ørene på riddersporefrø! Kulden stratifiserer frem livsglede i frøene, og når våren kommer popper det (etter sigende) opp ridderspore-unger både her og der. Når de har fått vokse seg fete utover forsommeren er det bare til å prikle dem ut akkurat der både du (og brunsneglene) har lyst.

    Om du er litt heldigere enn Blomsterstjernen er det ennÃ¥ ikke for sent Ã¥ høste inn sesongens rykende ferske frø fra akkurat din favorittplante. Men i Blomsterstjerneland fikk man derimot granat sjokk! For akkurat i det husfaren endelig fikk tilbake hagelysten hadde konemor typisk nok "ryddet" bort alle døde avblomstrede synsforstyrrende frøstengler. 

    Men Blomsterstjernen bet tennene sammen og endevendte hele komposthaugen på jakt etter noe som ihvertfall kunne minne om ridder-levninger. Gleden var derfor stor da han helt i bunnen av dyngen fant noe som etter 74% sannsynlighet må være riddersporefrø....

    Blomsterstjernen ble nemlig fryktelig motivert av å bevitne adoptivbarnas blålige glans. I 2014 skal hagen igjen få regjere (ikke Carl I. altså)! 50 kompostferske riddersporefrø ligger nå til tørk i kaffefilterposer klare for å danne 2014-sesongens frekkeste Riddersporebed. Med mindre det viser seg å være Skvallerkål-frø man plukket opp fra komposten...

    Spenningen er jo halve spenningen! Ikke sant Alessandro Volta?

    God helg til alle mine potensielt forlatte bloggvenner som smugtitter her allikevel,

    Jeg lurer også VELDIG på om noen av Sommerfuglblomstene jeg adopterte bort i fjor overlevde første sesong? Noen som vet? Pappaen ville blitt stolt av å se karakterboken deres.

              Svigermors Mareritt        

    I skrivende stund lider Blomsterstjernen av intense fantomsmerter i hjertet! Det kunstige åndedrettet skriker etter luft! Armer og lemmer faller fra hverandre... Man blir ikke bare hva man spiser! Men også det man leser...

    Jeg har nemlig nettopp lest meg til døde om hagens giftigste blomst (?): Acontium, eller Storhjelm om du vil. Men jeg lever da? Gjør jeg ikke?!? Er det forresten lov å blogge fra himmelen? (evt skjærsilden?) Gi meg gjerne en tilbakemelding på akkurat det i kommentarfeltet.

    Det hele startet med at svigermor skulle handle høyreiste stauder til sitt nye bed. Riddersporer, stokkroser eller høstfloks? Plutselig kjente hun at det pikket på skulderen. En rank og høy Storhjelm blunket forførende til henne, inntyllet i lilla herskapelig mystikk. "Hva med meg da?" Jo DEN ville hun virkelig ha! Den ville være perfekt helt bakerst i bedet!

    Damen fra staudegartneriet så forskrekket på henne og spurte om svigermor ikke hadde barnebarn hun var glad i? Joda, det hadde hun jo. Minst 7 stykk!

    "Da skal du absolutt IKKE ha denne i ditt nye bed!!!"

    "Kom og smak på mig..." - hvisket det fra buskaset...

    Gartneren fortalte oppglødd om at inntak av Storhjelm ville føre til en smertefull langdryg død for alle som kom den nær! Nesten garantert! Og som man vet, er jo barnebarn veldig flinke til å smake og plukke på det meste. Svigermor ombestemte seg derfor umiddelbart! Hun fikk plutselig langt mer lyst til å lage grønnsaks-bed istedenfor...

    Men et par dager senere skulle hun få sitt livs sjokk! På vei ned trappen til selveste Blomsterstjernefamilien lyste den i mot henne. En 2 meter høy og vulgær Storhjelm! "Døden på stilk"! Den hvisket hest til henne: "Kom og smak på blomstene mine... Det er ikke farlig med bare en liiiiiiiten smak...." Men svigermor kan sine barne-eventyr. Hun fnøs fornærmet og klasket til blomsten med paraplyen sin så det sang etter.

    Høye, voluminøse og egentlig ikke særlig pene når alt kommer til alt...

    Blomsterstjernen fikk pÃ¥ pukkelen, som seg hør og bør. At han kunne finne pÃ¥ Ã¥ ha en slik livsfarlig mannevond plante i sin egen hage?!? Helt uhørt. Denne stauden mÃ¥tte elimineres fra hagen, og det pronto! Spesielt med tanke pÃ¥ at svigermor har 3 barnebarn tilhørende i denne dødens trappeoppgang... 

    Noe motvillig måtte Blomsterstjernen til pers. Og det på røde rappen. Han hadde likevel et syltynt håp om at han ved å fjerne Svigermors Mareritt ville klare å gjenoppstå som Svigermors Drøm..?

    Den til nå så populære entré-blomsten hadde rett og slett ikke liv laga lenger. Overbevist av svigermors ord, røsket han blomsten usett opp med både hud og hår (og rot) og stappet den nedi bosspannet for å aldri se den igjen! (Helt uten å gråte)

    2 meter med henrettede potensielle massemordere! (Sjøstøvelen er kun med som målestokk)

    Det var først dagen derpå at Blomsterstjernen fikk dobbelsjekket plantes giftighet på Wikipedia... Og det var da fantomsmertene begynte å inntre. Hurtigt!!! Internetten er nemlig stappfull av grufulle historier om denne dødens baron! Det er visst ikke for uten grunn at blomsten også kalles for "The Queen of Poison", "Devil's helmet" eller "Woman's bane"!

    Bare hør her (sakset fra engelsk wikipedia, oversatt via Google Translate): "Ved inntak av selv minimale doser av denne drogen vil man merke symptomer nesten umiddelbart. Døden inntreffer vanligvis i løpet av mellom 2 til 6 timer ved dødelig forgiftning! De første tegnene er kvalme, oppkast og diaré. Etterfulgt av en følelse av brenning, prikking og nummenhet i munn, ansikt og mage. Ved alvorlige forgiftninger oppstår motorisk- og kutane-svekkelser i armer og ben. Og verre blir det ved inntredelse av hypotensjon, sinus bradykardi (?) og ventrikulære arytmier! Det hele avsluttes med lammelse av hjertet og luftveienes sentrum..."

    Takk for maten!

    Noen andre som begynner å føle symptomer der ute?

    Hostaene stråler av lykke etter at de ble kvitt den høye død-bringeren i blant seg

    Men Blomsterstjernen pustet likevel relativt lettet ut. For at han hadde vel tross alt klart å motstå fristelsen av å smake på disse lilla-blå dødsblomstene..? Men han mistet fort pusten igjen...

    Wikipedia fortsatte nemlig med dette: "Forgiftning kan også oppstå om man plukker bladene uten hansker, da Aconitine toksinet absorberes lett gjennom huden..."


    "Det starter med prikking i absorbsjonspunktet og strekker seg videre opp armen til skulderen, hvoretter hjertet begynner Ã¥ bli pÃ¥virket. Kriblingen vil deretter bli etterfulgt  av en ubehagelig nummenhet...."

    Hah ejn fjjiin hælgjsh...#¤/)9jmnj#¤"&/!

    Kom plutselig på at jeg brukte hansker!!! Fantomsmertene er borte!!!

    P.P.S. Er planten virkelig så farlig som sitt rykte?

    P.P.P.S. Er det noen der ute som er sakkyndige nok til å fortelle meg hvilken type av "Hjelm" jeg her hadde? Tyrihjelm, Storhjelm, etc?

              Dunjakkestemning i London...        

    Helt siden Blomsterstjernen var en diffus liten Blomster-gass-sky har London hatt en uimotstÃ¥elig tiltrekningskraft pÃ¥ den kommende smÃ¥stjernen. Først og fremst for sin pop-musikk-magi, men ogsÃ¥ for dens grandiose storhet i bÃ¥de omfang og historie. Og fascinasjonen bare eskalerer og eskalerer for hvert Ã¥r som gÃ¥r. I hurtig takt, underbygget av jetfly-buldring fra Heathrow, tube-map-hypnose pÃ¥ London Underground og florale overdoseringer i Hyde Park og Kew Gardens. Det er ogsÃ¥ helt ok at London dessuten draperes av billige drosjer, ekstreme shoppingmuligheter, fantastiske restauranter og rÃ¥tne puber.

    Har jeg glemt noe? Helt sikkert...
    At det er 17 London-lag i Premier League?
    (Men nå må vi ikke glemme at dette er en manneblogg sett gjennom et kajalblikk...)

    Regent Street - "Den norske gaten"?
    Blomsterstjernen er uansett sÃ¥ heldig at han nok kan tillate seg Ã¥ kalle London for sin andre hjemby (noen knepp før København... red anm). For i løpet av det siste drøye decenniet har han besøkt London minst en gang pr Ã¥r. Fem-seks ganger pÃ¥ turné med band, et halvt snes elskovsturer og en kvart milliard jobbreiser...  De aller fleste turene har likevel vært en kombinasjon av minst 2 av de forestÃ¥ende element.

    De siste 6 årene har det også blitt en tradisjon å delta på Natural Organics messen som arrangeres første helgen i april. Klok av skade sørger man alltid for å plusse på et passende antall bonusdager i begge ender av messen. I april er jo London helt optimalistisk for vårkåte nordmenn. Hjemme er det grått, brunt og gult og dobbeltsidig heldekkende regntøy så langt øyet rekker. I vårgrønne London blomstrer et hav av påskeliljer, fioler og kinesisk kirsebær om kapp med korte miniskjørt.

    Som dere sikkert forstår har Blomsterstjernen nettopp hjemvendt fra den forjettede by. Business & Pleasure. Jobb & Kone. Men for en gangs skyld, og kanskje for første (og siste?) gang i historien, slet London med å frembringe den savnede vårfølelsen. Det var kuldegrader, det snødde, det blåste, det var grått! Men likevel helt fantastisk!

    Men når man booker hotell litt for fort via hotels.com sjekker man ikke alltid hva for et rom man egentlig har bestilt..? Men denne gang ble vi positivt overrasket! Et latterlig godt tilbud på splitter nye Novotel Blackfriars resulterte i plass på øverste hylle. Excecutive Room i ellevte etasje med gjennomsiktig baderomsvegg!!! Perfekt for romantiske weekender! Helt til en av de involverte (eventuelt) må gjøre Big Business i toalettskålen under fullt innsyn (og oppsyn) av sin kjære...

    "The Flower-Star MUST have an Executive Room!!!"

    Nydelig utsikt fra toalettskålen - Heller bedrøvelig innsikt!

    Men til tross for ett og annet litt for detaljert toalettopphold var storby-oppholdet perfekt! Spesielt da vi siste dag oppdaget at det fantes en knapp inne på badet som på et eller annet mirakuløst vis kunne blende den gjennomsiktige veggen... Litt av en oppfinnelse?!?

    Blomsterstjernen fryktet lenge han ikke skulle komme hjem med et eneste fint bilde fra turen. Bortsett fra dem han tok fra toalettskÃ¥len (og det var MANGE!!!). Men siste dag med medbragt kone tittet endelig solen frem. Mann og kone spratt ut av shopping-moduset og nøt parklivet til fulle.

    Men nok fikk være nok. Nok kos og romantikk! Mission completed. Konemor ble sendt hjem med første fly søndagsmorgen slik at Stjernegutten kunne indulgere seg i det ypperste innen manneinteresser siste dagen før messen braket løs. Heisekraner, undergrunnsbaner, skinnesystem og Heathrow Runway 09L & 27R.

    Tradisjonen tro var det bare til Ã¥ ombooke siste natt. Blomsterstjernen har jo  nærmest fast suite pÃ¥ Heathrow Renaissance Hotel - with guaranteed runway view...

    Heisekran i solnedgang...

    Jetplane skies...

    Room with a view...

    A plane that crashes with a light pole....

    Bye bye Airbus 380...

    Etter noen kjærkomne dager i kjærestehimmelen, en vellykket dag i mannehimmelen og en lærerik dag i arbeidshimmelen returnerte Blomsterstjernen til sitt kjære nord med en nyinnkjøpt bag stappet til randen med mannekonfeksjon fra Zara...

    Litt av en tur - tross alt,
    (London skuffer aldri)

    P.S. Dersom noen skulle trenge romantiske gastronomiske restaurant-tips i London anbefaler Blomsterstjernen  Gaucho Tower Bridge og Bar Boulud pÃ¥ det aller varmeste! Fantastisk mat og superb service til en uavskrekkende pris...

    P.P.S. Noen som kan si meg hvilken flytype det var som krasjet med lyktestolpen? Og hvilket flyselskap?

              Laboratoriske prøverørsblomster        

    For en mÃ¥neds tid siden ble det fortalt i det vide og det brede (og det lange) om det ypperlige drivhuskontoret Blomsterstjernen i praksis bedriver sitt virke i. En genial tanke slo ned som sol fra mørk himmel. Kan man kombinere business & pleasure pÃ¥ en optimal og ny mÃ¥te? Det er jo blitt helt stuerent Ã¥ ha hjemmekontor i hagen? Da skulle det vel være minst like legitimt Ã¥ ha kontorhage pÃ¥ jobben?

    For som dere sikkert forstår, nøyer ikke Blomsterstjerner seg med å ta hagen inn i stuen. Hagen skal selvsagt også inn på kontoret. Les mer om de bakenforliggende årsaker her.

    Nå går startskuddet! PANG!

    UtgÃ¥tte, ødelagte og knuste laboratorie-artikler fÃ¥r en ny vÃ¥r som plantekasser, espalier og minidrivhus. I skrivende stund fylles de med frø av urter, grønnsaker og fioler. Et superhemmelig prosjekt i all Ã¥penhet. Godt kamuflert som en stueren urtehage. Ja hvilken sjef vil vel ikke like Ã¥ berikes med kortreiste grønnsaker i arbeidslunchen?

    Mmmmm. "Knapt-nok-reist-i-det-hele-tatt"-grønnsaker. Et must på en hver arbeidsplass

    Men bak denne åpenlyse arbeidsrelaterte planteforskingen dundrer det en lyssky geskjeft. Et knippe tradisjonelle hageblomster skal endelig få sjansen til å leve i varmen innendørs hele livet til endes! Fargerike erteblomster, floks og malviflora tripper spent i frøposene. De klarer knapt vente med å spre glede, farge og godlukt i et tilsynelatende brunfarget svetteluktende manne-eldorado for plastblomster...

    Et knippe kanskje ikke fullt så obligatoriske kontorblomster? Hysj. Ikke fortell dette til en levende sjel.

    Photographier direkte fra prøverøringen i reprise:

    Snart: stappfull av livsglade høstflox?

    Snart: stappet til randen av 2 meter høye Sidalcea Malviflora?

    Siste innen ruge-kasser fra Eppendorf

    Erteblomster på reagensglass... Hvorfor har vi ikke hørt om det før?

    Kassert fra normalt laboratorieliv - Mer enn godt nok til kontorhage på jobben

    Tenk Ã¥ kunne sÃ¥ sukkerfrie sukkerblad pÃ¥ jobben!?! 

    Testpanelet - minus tomatfrøene som ikke er ankommet enda

    Følg med i en av vårens mest spennende krimserier her på Blomsterstjernen!

    God helg på hjemmekontoret fra oss i kontorhagen,

    P.S. Noen som vil komme og vanne i pÃ¥sken?

              Mini-pepperkakehus i maxiformat        

    Tradisjonen tro, ihvertfall siden i fjor, var Blomsterstjernen plent nødt til å snekre opp et ørlite mini-pepperkakehus også i år. Det knøttlille minihuset fra i fjor var nemlig så inderlig søtt, både i smak og utseende, at suksessen rett og slett bare måtte gjentas. Men som dere vet, så har mannfolk en lei tendens til å til stadighet skulle prøve å overgå seg selv? Som oftest med mer eller mindre hell...

    SÃ¥ ogsÃ¥ denne gang. I Ã¥r skulle nemlig Blomsterstjernen ironisk nok prøve Ã¥ bygge et enda større mini-pepperkakehus... Lite betydde det at det antageligvis var den pikkyrende lille størrelsen som var hele sjarmen med fjorÃ¥rets kassasuksess? Jaja. Han om det...

    NÃ¥r man skal bygge mini-pepperkakehus er det ytterst viktig med gode forhold i bakken! Ingen baktrekk, ingen sidevind og absolutt ikke sug i sporet... Klok av skade ventet Blomsterstjernen derfor pÃ¥ den rette anledning før han gjenopptok driften av sitt eget lille pepperkake-entreprenørfirma.

    Her var det med andre ord bare Ã¥ vente til barna var meget godt i seng... Alt blir nemlig sÃ¥ mye lettere med lukket kjøkkendør, sovende barnefingre og kritiske koneblikk godt forankret til Grace Anatomy (eller "Grace and Atomy" som Blomsterstjernen innbiller seg at det heter?). Først da er det silkeføre i bakken! Først da tenner fader 1000 lys. Han strammer til Blomsterstjernemasken og vips ligger pepperkakeverden for hans føtter... Juleklassikere fra Frank Sinatra og Bing Crosby runger over kjøkkenet pÃ¥ lavt volum. 

    Ettersom Blomsterstjernen har fÃ¥tt grei beskjed av Bloggurat om at han nÃ¥ har brukt opp 99,99999% av deres bokstav- & tegn-kvote velger han i dag Ã¥ fortelle historien med bilder istedenfor ord. Men som vi alle vet kan jo ett bilde si mer enn 1000 ord? Blomsterstjernen høyner derfor med hele 14 bilder? For ikke Ã¥ si 14.000 komprimerte ord:

    Minipepperkakehuset ble kanskje ikke like yndig og søtt som i fjor? Men det ble iallfall større! Og glasuren var kanskje heller ikke like lekker som i fjor? Men det ble ihvertfall dobbelt sÃ¥ mye! Veggene stÃ¥r kanskje ogsÃ¥ litt mer pÃ¥ snei enn i fjor? Det gjør ingenting. Her gjelder det bare Ã¥ kamuflere virkeligheten. Pakke den litt inn. Man skylder pÃ¥ barna... 

    Og vips står man med en nydelig pepperkake-kirke, godt kamuflert bak litt granbar og noen stearinlys.

    God Jul!

    Julehilsener til alle mine gode bloggvenner!

    P.S. Jeg har allerede fått tusenvis av spørsmål som følge av manglende bildetekst. Her er noen av svarene: Pepperkake-malene ble tegnet i Powerpoint, printet og klippet ut. Vindusprossene er laget av tilpassede fyrstikker lagt i kryss. Limet er smeltet sukker. Motivet er Landås Kirke...

    P.P.S. Send meg gjerne linker av andre mer elle mindre vellykkede pepperkakehus produsert av deres eget entreprenørfirma.

              En mann og hans stilongs        

    Det finnes ikke bikkjekaldt vær, bare bikkjekalde klær. Blomsterstjernen har tatt lærdom. Endelig?

    Normalt sett, under normale omstendigheter, vil en vinter pÃ¥ snarvisitt i Bergens-vinter servere klissvÃ¥tt sludd, stivpisket sno og 2 plussgrader. Ufyselige forhold for utenforstÃ¥ende. Og normalt sett, under normale omstendigheter, ville Blomsterstjernen vandret rundt i en syltynn halvÃ¥pen trenchcoat, totalt utilkneppet og med frostskadet vindblÃ¥st hÃ¥r. Ufyselige forhold selv for inneforstÃ¥ende.

    Men fra tid til annen dukker det opp en dag eller to med forloren Fimbulvinter. Knirkefin krystallsnø, knallende solsteik og et tosifret antall kuldegrader, minst. Da gliser annenhver bergenser fra øre til øre! Fra munn til munn. Fra hånd til munn. Den andre halvdelen bergensere synker surt ned i sofaen under et tosifret antall tepper mens de klager okkende på den lave solen som ødelegger sportsendingene!

    Blomsterstjernen (og mange med ham?) opererer under en svært streng og totalt urokkelig stilongs-regel. Stilongs er KUN lov Ã¥ benytte dersom gradestokken viser blÃ¥ tall. Og selv da skal det vurderes grundig for og mot. Plussgrader og null-føre er totalt uforenelig med stilongs-traktering! Blomsterstjernens komfort-skjebne er med andre ord fullt og helt underlagt termometerets mÃ¥linger.

    Som dere sikkert kan tenke dere er det derfor ytterst sjelden at denne Blomsterstjernen itrer seg  musketerenes favorittplagg. Kanskje en gang pr tiende Ã¥r? Han er jo ogsÃ¥ et hÃ¥pløst mannfolk, pÃ¥ svært fÃ¥ plan... Han velger derfor heller Ã¥ gÃ¥ tynnkledd rundt. Hutre og fryse. Banne og steike. Hoste og harke. Det nærmeste han kommer stilongs, er ubarberte hÃ¥rete ben...

    Men det er ikke mÃ¥te pÃ¥ hvor kald 1 plussgrad føles i Bergen! Luftfuktigheten, vindstyrken og is-regnets intensitet resulterer nemlig i en effektiv luft-temperatur pÃ¥ mellom -20 og -30 kuldegrader!!! Men hva hjelper det nÃ¥r gradestokker stÃ¥r og gliser og svetter i røde varme jule-farger!?!

    Men forrige helg skulle bli et vendepunkt! Endelig lÃ¥ værforholdene til rette. Endelig var det stilongsvær i Bergen. Blomsterstjernen jublet! Endelig kunne han dra frem stilongsen han fikk til jul av mormor og morfar i 1987... Og ikke nok med det. Det var sÃ¥pass kaldt at det ogsÃ¥ ble lov Ã¥ kle pÃ¥ seg dunjakke (krav: "under 5 minusgrader"). Den maskerte herremannen kunne derfor for første gang siden den kalde krig vandre godt polstret ut i Fimbulvinteren. 

    Men hvor var kulden blitt av? Det var jo glovarmt ute? Men termometeret sto likevel og skalv rundt 8-9 kuldisser... Kulden hadde rett og slett ikke sjans mot dun og stil. Den prøvde Ã¥ bite men prellet av hver bidige gang. Selv ikke etter en hel dag i Gamle Bergen kjente Stjernen antydning til verken hutter, jammer eller koldbrann. Han var blitt immun mot kulde, takket være skikkelige vinterklær.

    Så da mandag morgen igjen sto på trappene valgte Blomsterstjernen å fortsette i samme stil og ikke minst; samme stilongs. Han dro derfor til jobb forsterket med "sveklingenes favorittplagg" godt gjemt under dongeribuksen. Aldri før hadde han følt en så behagelig vinterlig ventetid på busstoppet. Det gjorde absolutt ingenting at bussen var et kvarter forsinket. Han bare vendte det andre kinnet til og nøt vinteren.

    Et lite varsku-her fikk han likevel da han satte seg ned pÃ¥ bussen, som selvsagt var temperert etter vanlig vinterlig stilongsfri Bergens-bekledning... Tropevarme med andre ord! Stilongsmannen skled frem og tilbake i setet mens han kokte av svette fra topp til tÃ¥, bokstavelig talt. Hadde han likevel gjort et dumt valg?!? Burde han kjørt stilongsfritt?!? 

    Men neida. Vel ute av bussen, da kulda igjen satte inn, var han sporenstreks i sitt Ess igjen! Rolig, temperert og avslappet kunne han spankulere over til jobblokalet mens han hele tiden sørget for å holde en fin og rank holdning ala Kronprinsesse Mette-Marit.

    OBS! OBS! OBS!

    Vel inne på kontoret skulle stilongsen mot alle odds vise seg å være midt i blinken med tanke på bekledning. For når man har vegg til vegg vegger bestående av heldekkende vinduer fra 1987 blir ofte kontortemperaturen en smule preget av ute-temperaturen. Men bevæpnet med stilongs føltes det bare helt perfekt. Det var den ultimate arbeidstemperatur. Helt til klokken slo 11:23...

    For da den lave vintersolen endelig tittet over Løvstakken skulle klimaet forandre seg en smule inne pÃ¥ Blomsterstjernens drivhus-aktige kontor. Badang! Temperaturen steg loddrett og radikalt fra behagelige 17 grader til uutholdelige 27 grader! Stilongs og tropevarme gÃ¥r dessverre relativt dÃ¥rlig sammen... Men som mann mÃ¥ man bli ved sin lest. StÃ¥ for sine valg!

    Det var med andre ord HELT uaktuelt Ã¥ kle av seg stilongsen! Det eneste riktige i en sÃ¥dan situasjon er Ã¥ pine seg gjennom dagen. Og man vet jo heller aldri hva som venter rundt neste sving..? Mer kulde? Enda mer varme? Og helt riktig! Ikke lenge etterpÃ¥ takket solen for seg der den igjen snek seg ned bak Løvstakken kl 13:27. Etter to endeløse timer i Skjærsilden var Blomsterstjernen igjen tilbake i den svale behagelige sibirske landsbyen Ojmjakon. Og godt kledd for oppdraget.

    Resten av dagen fortsatte i et slags jojo-format mellom komfort og pinsel. Perfekt kledd for busstoppet. HÃ¥pløst kledd for bussturen hjem. Perfekt kledd for spaserturen til barnehagen. HÃ¥pløst kledd for henting av elleville barn som ikke ville kle pÃ¥ seg. Perfekt kledd for spaserturen hjem fra barnehagen. HÃ¥pløst kledd for middags-laging til elleville barn som ville smake og klusse med alle ingrediensene. Perfekt kledd for Ã¥ gÃ¥ ut med bosset og ikke komme hjem før etter leggetid....

    Neste dag var stilongsen fjernet...

    Så hva er lærdommen? Hva er moralen? Uansett hva man velger sitter man jo i saksen! Velger man å gå uten stilongs blir opplevelsen nøyaktig like mye jojo, bare med motsatt fortegn. Varm og god inne, iskald og ubekvem ute...

    Blomsterstjernen ser virkelig frem til den dagen noen oppfinner en stilongs man kan blende, slik man kan med blendegardiner...

    Hvordan stiller dere dere? 
    For eller mot stilongs?!?

    God vinterhelg! Lykke til med bekledningen...

    Hilsen den kaldsvettende,

    P.S. Jeg gjentar dagens konklusjon: 1 plussgrad i Bergen tilsvarer minst 30 kuldegrader østpå!

    P.P.S. Til alle dere norsklærerinner som har vridd dere gjennom dagens innlegg vil jeg bare si at det faktisk er lov å skrive stil(l)ongs med både 1 og 2 L'er... Og like varme er de antageligvis! Med mindre man skriver det med "tjukk L" da...

    P.P.P.S. Samtlige av dagens bilder ble tatt i Gamle Bergen (med stilogs og dunjakke)

              Da pipen fikk en annen lyd        

    La gå. Jeg skal innrømme det først som sist. Jeg er luta lei misbruken av uttrykket:

    "Et det ikke typisk!?!"

    Ja er det ikke typisk..?

    Nei! Det er ikke typisk! Og sannsynligvis er det nesten aldri typisk, dette man refererer til nÃ¥r man benytter det kjente og kjære uttrykket! Tvert i mot er det vel heller sÃ¥ at det faktisk "IKKE er typisk"... Det eneste typiske er vel at man bruker uttrykket...

    "Akkurat da jeg skulle ut døren sÃ¥ knakk hælen pÃ¥ høy-hæl-skoene! 
    Er det ikke typisk?!?" 
     - Nei...

    "Akkurat da jeg satt meg ned pÃ¥ bussen gikk fostervannet! 
    Er det ikke typisk?!?" 
    - Nei...

    "Akkurat da jeg skulle til Ã¥ kline med min kone sÃ¥ jeg at det var naboens kone! 
    Er det ikke typisk?!?" 
    - Nei...

    Osv. Etc.

    La oss spørre ordboken:

    typisk ['tyːpɪsk] - trekk som er karakteristiske for en viss type hendelse el. individ.

    Hæ??? Stearinlys på en farsdag?!? Er det ikke typisk?!? Jo... faktisk

    Men likevel blir vi typisk nok fristet til Ã¥ benytte dette typebetonte uttrykket hver bidige gang noe gÃ¥r oss  i mot her i livet... Og det er ikke sjelden... Selv misbrukte Blomsterstjernen uttrykket pÃ¥ det aller aller groveste forrige fredag aften. Han skulle skamme seg!

    La oss se litt nærmere på saken:

    Klokken var 18:32. Barna var levert til barnevaktsentralen - avdeling sør. Blomsterstjernen og konemor var stivpyntet etter nest-beste smart-casual stil. De skulle virkelig kose seg pÃ¥ Lagfinn Dyngbø show. Latteren skulle sitte løst, stemningen skulle være god og alle verdens bekymringer skulle fortrenges for en time eller to. Utenfor pisket regnet. Stormen ulte. Det perfekte vær for innekos med andre ord. Men ut mÃ¥tte de. Lyngbø har jo dessverre ikke begynt med stand-up show i take-away-format enda. Noe for fremtiden?

    Det latterklare paret trosset naturkreftene og smøg seg ut døren, opp trappene og bort til bilen pÃ¥ bil-oppstillingsplassen. Nyfrisert hÃ¥r forsvant som dugg for solen! Frakker og kÃ¥per var spettet av vannrett sludd. Akkurat da var det det skjedde...

    Er det ikke typisk?!?

    En voldsom klirrelyd gjallet fra skorsteinen... Å nei!!! Hele pipehetten hadde blåst av! 3 av 4 festepunkt var røket! Regnet høljet rett ned i pipen! Måtte dette skje akkurat nå? I pøsende reng? I kveldende mørke? I langflat vind? Akkurat da vi ikke hadde noe tid å miste om vi skulle rekke komishowet!!!

    Pen-klær, tidspress og pipeklatring hører vel heller ikke veldig godt sammen...

    Er det ikke typisk!?! 
    (utbrøt konemor og konefar i munnen på hverandre (dog uten å kline))

    Her mÃ¥tte det prioriteres. Latter eller sorg? Valget var sÃ¥re enkelt. Det stivpyntede paret knep igjen øynene og rømte fra virkeligheten. De ville mye heller le! En rask telefon til "fyrbøteren" i kjelleren (ogsÃ¥ kalt far/svigerfar) beroliget heldigvis med at det tross alt ikke fosset vann ut av pipesokkelen nede hos ham...

    Pipen fikk vente til i morgen. Skjønt. Hadde det vært opp til konemor skulle nok Blomsterstjernen stÃ¥tt skolerett pÃ¥ taket ved midnatt for Ã¥ fikse pipen i sno og storm - i fin-klær... Slik gikk det heldigvis ikke. Blomsterstjernen parerte selvsagt med at han mÃ¥tte sove pÃ¥ det. For her mÃ¥tte det planlegges nøye. Man fikser bare ikke en pipe sÃ¥nn over natten... Bokstavelig talt.

    Marsipankake på farsdag?!? Er det ikke typisk?!? Jo... det er det.

    Selv om den pÃ¥følgende lørdagen strengt tatt var Lille-Farsdag hindret ikke dette Blomsterstjernen i Ã¥ glede seg til litt realt manne-arbeid. For alt har en mening her i livet..? Endelig skulle Blomsterstjernen fÃ¥ utvise litt stolt mandighet overfor nabolaget, dog noe ufrivillig...

    Hjemmelaget kort og varme gode tøfler i farsdagsgave?!? Er det ikke typisk?!? Skulle ønske det...

    For som dere sikkert skjønner er det ikke helt greit nÃ¥r man som mann til stadighet blir tatt i Ã¥ lukte pÃ¥ roser, grave i bed eller i Ã¥ tømme en fullstappet bil med hagesenterposer? Dette er selvsagt  høyst usømmelig manneoppførsel. Og noen ganger mÃ¥ man derfor vise at man ikke er helt kastrert i oventil.

    Våkne opp til duk og dekket bord for så å oppdage at det faktisk ikke er duk?!? Er det ikke typisk?!? Jo...

    Pipefiksing er antageligvis noe av det mandigste man kan utføre? En skitten, svett arbeidsplass milevis over bakken forbundet med skyhøy mortalitetsrate. Blomsterstjernen gliste bredt etterhvert som mangfoldige naboer, til alt hell, passerte huset akkurat denne Lille-Farsdags morgen. Utstyrt med tau, stige, skrujern, tang, stÃ¥ltrÃ¥d og en uhorvelig mengde mot viste han verden det andre kinn... For en mann med stor M...

    "The most dangerous work in the world!" - The chimney fixers. Kommer på Discovery våren 2013

    Pipen ble fin som ny. Og endelig fÃ¥r nok pipen en helt annen lyd i nabolaget...

    Blomsterstjernen klarte å fikse pipen helt på egenhånd! Er det ikke typisk?!? Nei... langt der i fra...

    Røffe, barske & svette helgehilsener fra,

    P.S. Ja dere kan vel bare tenke dere hvor fortjent Farsdagen føltes da den endelig kom..? Bortsett fra at denne forjettede hviledagen typisk nok skulle vise seg Ã¥ bli Ã¥rets mest hektiske dag!!! Er det ikke typisk?

    P.P.S. Men det er en helt annen historie :)

    P.P.P.S. Burde ikke pipen vært malt? Hadde vi ikke på forhånd fått advarsel fra feieren om at festepunktene trengte overhaling? Jada masa!!!

              Søknad om bannlysing i Norsk Tulipanforening        

    Som dere kanskje husker blottet Blomsterstjernen seg helt i forrige innlegg? Ja kanskje ikke bokstavelig talt, ettersom han klokelig nok beholdt frakken godt igjen-kneppet... Verre var det med tulipanene. Plagg for plagg ble forførerisk knappet opp, push-up BH'er falt som svensker i hoppbakken mens kajal, rouge og foundation ble skrubbet vekk med Niveas "nail and polish". Etter endt striptease sto vi igjen med et knippe trøtte, morgengretne, rynkede tulipaner blottet for all glamour og livsgnist...

    Jorden skjuler et tulipansykehus

    Tulipane var syke, trette og muligens vansmektet? Men hva var diagnosen? Fantes det en kur for Ã¥ fÃ¥ dem pÃ¥ fote igjen? Det skortet ikke pÃ¥ gode lesertips. Noen mente dette kun var snakk om en ren forkjølelse som ville gÃ¥ over av seg selv, noen mente det kunne være leddgikt med snev av høysnue mens andre tolket det dit hen at tulipanene hadde nye tenner pÃ¥ gang og dermed fikk lett feber og kløe. Men Blomsterstjernen var ikke overbevist...

    Hageputene prøver å overta hele bedet!

    Plutselig dukket Svein Våtsveen fra planteriket.no opp med 1000-kroners svaret på Facebook! Det var ingen tvil! Blomsterstjernens kjære tulipaner led utvilsomt av Botrytis Tulipae eller "Tulip fire" om du vil. En variant av gråskimmel som rammer tulipaner! Infisert av ekle konidiesopper gikk tulipanene den sikre død i møte! Det fantes ingen kur, ingen helbredelse! Her gjaldt det bare å røske opp samtlige tulipaner brennkvikt og deretter hjemmebrenne dem på bålet... Dersom man ville følge boken...

    = kr 713,10...

    Blomsterstjernen vÃ¥knet til live! Tanken pÃ¥ en forsommer uten tulipaner i hagens praktbed var til Ã¥ grÃ¥te over. Han handlet brennkvikt. Tilfeldigvis hadde det seg sÃ¥nn at Hageglede.no kjørte pÃ¥ med utrolige superdupertilbud denne senhøstlige dag. Den maskerte lot seg ikke be 2 ganger. Haugevis av løkpakker til salgs for en 10'er eller en 29'er var nesten for godt til Ã¥ være sant! Det gjorde absolutt ingenting at alle de fineste tulipanene var utsolgt, for av og til kan faktisk kvantitet være langt bedre enn kvalitet...

    Kategorisk dandert av Blomsterstjernedatteren: krokus øverst, påskeliljer i midten, tulipaner nederst

    Ett minutt senere var handlevognen fylt til randen av latterlig billige tulipanløk, pÃ¥skeliljer og krokuser! To dager senere sto pakken pÃ¥ trappene. Her var ingen tid Ã¥ miste. Til natten var det meldt frost! Som en tornado fôr Blomsterstjernen ut for Ã¥ "kurere" tulipanbedene. 

    Ca 200 av de "syke" tulipanløkene ble godt tatt vare på...

    Planen for redningsaksjonen var klar:
    • Grave bort all gammel jord
    • Fjerne samtlige tulipanløk
    • Plante nye løk
    • Legge pÃ¥ frisk ny jord i bedet

    Et virvar av røtter åpenbarte seg under utgravingene

    Allerede her var han nok i strid med Norsk Tulipanforenings reglement? Tommelfingerregelen sier visstnok at det skal gå 3-5 år mellom hver gang man har tulipaner i samme bed?!? Et SYKT påfunn!!! Og selvsagt HELT uaktuelt i Blomsterstjerneland!!!

    Bedet ble ved hjelp av karbonmetoden datert til ca Ã¥r 2008...

    Verre skulle det bli... Det var nemlig ikke bare-bare å fjerne all jord og alle løk når det også vokser 6 rosebusker, 8 hageputer, 2 stjerneklokker og en gjeng med eføy i samme bed som tulipanene... Det ble derfor et litt halvhjertet, og SVÆRT strevsomt prosjekt. Den fine lørdagen raste avgårde med hodet nedi bedet. Men til slutt måtte "hage-doktoren" si seg ferdig med de innledende inngrepene.

    New life!

    Bedet minnet nå mer om et arkeologisk funnsted fra steinalderen enn noe som hører hjemme i en hage. Men det fine var at det nå var lett som en kirkerotte å sette de nye løkene. For ettersom bedet allerede var utgravd til ønsket dybde var det bare til å spre de 110 løkene utover i et fint system. Hatsuzukura, Negrita, Pink Diamond, Alexander Pushkin, Purple Prince og White Triumphator visste rett og slett ikke hva de hadde takket ja til.... De vandret inn i et ormebol!

    Et kobbel nye tulipaner på vei mot den usikre død?

    Ny frisk jord ble spredd over de nyplantede tulipanene og endelig kunne rosetottelottene fÃ¥ varmen igjen. Blomsterstjernen tok seg en velfortjent kaffekopp mens han nøt synet av dagens doktorarbeid. 

    Ferdig arbeid! Perfekt skue for selvtilfredse doktorer med kaffekopp i hånd

    Alt så ut til å være i den skjønneste orden! Og kanskje det også er det? Blomsterstjernen lever alltid i håpet! Mye gøyere sånn...

    Bare 5 måneder igjen!!!

    Svaret får vi i april/mai...

    De beste og mest håpefulle hilsener,

    P.S. Om han "husket" å brenne alle de gamle tulipanløkene..? Øhhh... Nei, han hadde rett og slett ikke hjerte til det! De mest sykdoms-tvilsomme løk ble rett nok kastet, men den absolutte majoritet ble selvsagt bare plantet i et nytt bed, i håp om en ny vår! Og for en vår det vil bli! 200 tulipanløk tettplantet på 1 kvadratmeter!!!

    P.P.S. Ikke fortell dette til Norsk Tulipanforening (dersom denne finnes?)

              Tulipaner med (og uten) kÃ¥teblikk        

    Blomsterstjernens tulipanbed er presis som de flotteste jentene på byen...

    Ved første øyekast et syn for guder i all sin perfeksjonisme, eleganthet og plettfrihet! Men går man nærmere etter i sømmene blir man ulykksalig skuffet... For akkurat som med de uoppnåelige babes'ene er ikke bedet mer enn en traust blodfattig middelmådighet så snart man skreller av sminken, push-up BH'en og kåteblikket...

    Men hva gjør vel det? Superbabes'ene gjør jo likevel furore på byen hver bidige helg (+ torsdag) mens tulipanene gnistrer om kapp med solen så ofte som de vil her på blomsterbloggen! Det er jo heldigvis bloggernes privilegium å kun fremvise hus og hage fra sine beste vinkler, i det beste lys, på de beste solskinnsdager...

    Og slik er det også i 99 av 100 blogginnlegg, minst!?! Og slik vil vi også ha det! Ufyselige arrangerte rotehus, usminkede gul-tannete megababes og råtne grisne tulipanbed bør og skal holdes innenfor husets og hagens søtten vegger!

    Men i ytterst få tilfeller må sannheten frem... I dag er en slik dag.

    Saken er nemlig den at Blomsterstjernen i lang lang tid har fortiet en grusom hemmelighet! Hold dere fast!!! Hans tulipanbed lider tydeligvis av en uhelbredelig sykdom! En slags vegetativ spedalskhet? En blomstenes tyfus!

    Med kåteblikk...
    Uten kåteblikk...

    Som noen kanskje har fått med seg er våre to tørrmursbed fullstappet av gjenblomstrende tulipaner i valører fra rosa til lilla. Hvert år suppleres det med nye løk slik at hver sesong skal overgå den forrige med glans... Og utad ser det kanskje ut som om man også lykkes med det..?

    Med push-up BH...

    Uten push-up BH

    Men sannheten er dessverre en helt annen... Sykdommen sprer seg raskere enn byllepest i Jostedalen! En etter en smittes tulipanspirene med denne frykteligste sykdom! En uhelbredelig pest som uomtvistelig forandrer knoppene til forkrøplede smÃ¥ dvergtulipaner! Ikke som moderne kjekke "smÃ¥folk" i pene klær, men som ufordragelige dverger fra Walt Disneys skumleste eventyr! Og i Blomsterstjernens rike har vi ikke rom for slike blomster-utskudd! En etter en halshugges de og fjernes fra offentlighetens lys. Eneste spor er store blomstertomme "hull" i bedet. Hull som blir større og større for hvert Ã¥r som gÃ¥r...

    Med kajal, rouge og lebestift...

    Uten kajal, rouge og lebestift...

    Hjelp!!!!! Vi trenger hjelp!!!

    Hva skyldes denne uhelbredelige sykdommen? Hva mÃ¥ gjøres? 

    • MÃ¥ samtlige tulipanløk graves opp og brennes?
    • Kan de overleve i andre bed?
    • MÃ¥ all jorden byttes ut?
    • Kan bedet sprayes med en eller annen radioaktiv væske?
    • Hva med rosene som lever side om side med de psyke tulipanene?
    • Trenger bedet et Ã¥rs pause?
    • MÃ¥ hele hagen graves opp og skyves ned til naboen?

    Samtlige tulipantips mottas med takk!!!
    Nye tulipanløk venter allerede på sin skjebne...

    De beste helge-hilsener,

    P.S. Til alle dere som er single og skal pÃ¥ byen i helgen... Ha dette innlegget i bakhodet! Finn heller en grÃ¥ mus du kan dolle opp sÃ¥ mye du vil i ettertid...

              Hvordan lage kakemenn (uten Ã¥ vite det)?        

    Kakemenn i oktober?!? Er han gÃ¥tt fra vettet!?! Sannsynligvis! 

    Eller snarere tvert i mot..? Sannheten er nemlig den at Blomsterstjernen blir direkte uvel av Ã¥ se julerelaterte bestanddeler sÃ¥ tidlig som i oktober? Ikke fordi han ikke liker jul... Snarere fordi han mener at julen skal og mÃ¥ holdes hellig! Det burde være strengt forbudt Ã¥ tjuvstarte juleriene før den lilla mÃ¥neden er pÃ¥ trappene!!! 

    Men tydeligvis er han den eneste i den moderne verden som bryr seg om den slags? Butikkene bare øser pÃ¥ med mandariner, nøtter, kakemenn, juleblader og julemarsipan - senest fra starten av oktober, om ikke før? I november starter de salget av nyttÃ¥rsraketter, mens januarsalget ideelt sett bør avsluttes lenge før Santa Lucia-dagen. I følge almanakken er det nÃ¥ blitt sÃ¥ dekadent at vi allerede i 2017 vil oppleve at PÃ¥skeaften er fremskyndet sÃ¥pass mye at den vil sammenfalle med Lillejulaften!?! Jules(j)okk!!!

    Men sÃ¥ er det dette med Ã¥ bli ført bak lyset... mot sin egen vilje? Dere skjønner... Her forleden var nemlig Blomsterstjernen hjemme fra jobb med sin forkjølne datter. Etter Ã¥ ha sett 18 timer barne-tv ble datteren elegant overført til husets lego-avdeling. Endelig kunne far kose seg med mannebladet BoligDrøm... Men sÃ¥nt kan være direkte helsefarlig! Jo mer han leste, jo mer sulten ble han... For inniblant svulmende hus- og hagereportasjer fristet bladet med de herligste retter og oppskrifter! Plommemarmelade, chillifrikasé, artisjokk-kompott, jordbæransjos, mandelpuré og ikke minst Scones til Ã¥ smøre alt det fasjonable pÃ¥legget pÃ¥... 

    Vel vitende om at det i brødboksen pÃ¥ kjøkkenet kun fantes en tørr skalk av kneipp fra i forgÃ¥rs var det derfor svært vemodig Ã¥ fantasere om sin egen lunch... Men det var da Blomsterstjernen ble forledet! Scones?!? Hvorfor hadde han ikke tenkt pÃ¥ det før??? Scones er jo britenes eget sunnhetsalibi?!? Er det ikke? Det perfekte lunchmÃ¥ltid for syke døtre og pleiende fedre? Datteren var heller ikke snar om Ã¥ be. Selvsagt ville hun hjelpe Ã¥ bake! Eneste kriteriet var at vi mÃ¥tte benytte oss av pepperkakeformene... Som sagt sÃ¥ gjort!

    Før de visste ord av det sto de der med mel og bakepulver til langt oppunder ørene. Som seg hør og bør ble oppskriften fulgt slavisk, til punkt og prikke... Men akkurat som lærlingen til Bakemester Harepus, stusset ogsÃ¥ Blomsterstjernen ørlite over at oppskriften inneholdt hele 6 toppede spiseskjeer sukker og lysehvitt mel... Men pytt la gÃ¥! Oppskriften lyver aldri..?

    Deigen ble snurret elegant i hop og deretter hurtig omformet til 14 velformede figurer ubønnhørlig uttrykket av den sykladne datteren. Hjerter, rundinger og kakemenndamer i alle fasonger. Men for å gjøre dem litt ekstra sunne ble de krydret med sesamfrø, linfrø, havreflak og valmuefrø. Fjorten lynkjappe minutt senere pep komfyren av vellyst! Den oste av stolt hjemmebakst! Fjorten super-sunne lunch-krabater hadde kommet til verden! Tennene løp i vann & sukkerlake...

    Den syke smÃ¥rollingen valgte Ã¥ sluke scones-damene uten pÃ¥legg. Øynene gnistret! "Mmmmmmmm! For noen deilige "rundstykker" pappa!!!". Den ene etter den andre av scones-damene ble halshugget pÃ¥ stedet. Far derimot var blitt kraftig inspirert av BoligDrøms pÃ¥leggskavalkade og bladde opp litt hjemmelaget eplemos, andektig dandert pÃ¥ et lag av smeltet smør. Det dryppet slev av kjeften i strie strømmer...

    Han lukket øynene og satte tenna i sunnhetsbomben... Fabelaktig!!! Utmerket!!! Han himlet med øynene og hev innpå i rekordtempo! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 scones!!! Men det var da... akkurat da han følte seg skitten... Det var noe kjent med smaken... Smaken av søt svie... Hvor hadde han kjent dette før? Jo! Nei!!! Det smakte da vitterlig av jul!?! Det smakte kakemann!!!


    Dette var ikke scones!
    Dette var  forkledde kakemenn i sjofel scones-drakt!!!
    Han var blitt rundlurt av seg selv! Med overlegg! PÃ¥ høylys dag! 

    Og det føltes så riktig...
    Der og da...

    Ikke si det til noen..?

    Skamfulle fredags hilsener,

    P.S. Opp med hÃ¥nden alle andre som har en formening om nÃ¥r det er lov til Ã¥ sesongdebutere med henholdsvis kakemenn, mandariner og juleblader? Og er det en gradering? Hva skal komme først? Hva har man lov til Ã¥ tjuvstarte pittelitt med? Og hva er helligere enn Olav den Hellige?!?

              Tapas til sjøss...        

    Guttetur er ikke hva det en gang var...

    Kassevis med øl, tåkete erindringer av bygdedans og kalde joikaboller? For det var vel sånn det en gang var?!? Alkoholforgiftning, sjanseløs damemysing og elendig mat har liksom alltid vært grunnpilarene innenfor den superhemmelige Guttetur-bevegelsen? Det går jo fremdeles gjetord om de legendariske gutteturene til Jesus, Bartolomeus og Judas... Og selv i oldtiden fikk tydeligvis kalde joikaboller bein å gå på, ikke minst da Kheops, Sneferu og Tuthmose en sjelden gang fikk fri fra husets plikter!

    Joda. Jentene har ogsÃ¥ hatt sine turer, de ikke fullt sÃ¥ myteomspunnede "Jenteturene"... Sant nok er det vel ingen mann i hele verden som ærlig talt vet hva som foregÃ¥r der? Men vi har likevel vÃ¥re tanker... Vi liker ihvertfall Ã¥ innbille oss at disse jenteturene ogsÃ¥ er bygget pÃ¥ 3 grunnpilarer.. Formodentlig: symaskin, spinnerokk og tupperware? Muligens spritet opp av et kvart glass med utvannet rødvin? Og at det litt ut pÃ¥ kvelden, nÃ¥r glasset nærmer seg halv-tomt, i enkelte tilfeller kan dukke opp noen fnisete historier om han halv-kjekke treningsinstruktøren som muligens har blunket diskrete til en av jentetur-deltagerne?

    Selvfølgelig snurrer de opp et mangfold av innbydende hjemmelagde paier og ostesmørbrød, et bugnende ost & kjeks bord, reke-cocktail og konfekt. Og nÃ¥r klokken runder 22 blank er hytten ryddet og strøken. Samtlige jenteturdeltagere ligger og sover sin søteste søvn i yndige nystrøkne blomstrete nattkjoler og rent undertøy.

    PÃ¥ guttetur blir det nødvendigvis litt annerledes... Utfordringen har vel alltid vært at punkt 1 (alkoholkonsumet) som oftest fører til at punkt 2 (damemysingen) heldigvis faller helt i dass. Det hører nemlig til sjeldenhetene at guttetur-deltagere faktisk makter Ã¥ holde øyelokkene oppe sÃ¥pass lenge at de klarer Ã¥ skimte konturene av disse frammande spanande kvinnfolkene man ved neste guttetur ideelt sett skulle preike i det vide og det brede om?

    Og enda verre er det med punkt 3 (ukulinert mat)! For når gutter drar på tur skal man bruke minimalt med tid på matlaging! Man skal jo ikke kaste bort den dyrebare tiden man heller kunne brukt til å fortære enda en 6-pack!?! Dessuten hører ikke ekte mannfolk hjemme på kjøkkenet... De hører hjemme i stresslessen! Resultatet blir en handlevogn stappet til randen med fuktige brunevarer og helt på toppen en ørliten hermetikkboks med Joikaboller, Trøndersodd eller Whiskas! Om det er plass...

    Men litt ut på kvelden (fra 16:23 og utover) går det på høgg og belegg. En saus av hungersultne mannfolk lengter etter konemødre der de raver rundt på kjøkkenet på håpløs jakt etter boksåpneren... Selvsagt en umulig oppgave! Mannfolk har jo ikke den villeste idé om hvor konemødrene gjemmer slike redkaper!?! Og heller ikke hvordan man bruker dem. Så da er det heller frem med slakteknivene som henger på veggen.

    Etter et raskt knivslagsmål der 2-3 av gutteturdeltagerne segner om klarer endelig sistemann å treffe hermetikkboksen. Ut strømmer det en uimotståelig velduft av innbydende Trøndersodd. Boksen flerres opp på tvers og innholdet slurpes uoppvarmet rett fra hermetikkboksen... Neste morgen våkner man opp på kjøkkengulvet med skjorten på snei i et hav av resirkulert sodd, kroppsavfall og legemsdeler.

    Men DET var i gamledager... I 2012 har tydeligvis verden gÃ¥tt videre, med stormskritt?

    Blomsterstjernen og hans barndomskompis, ja hvorfor ikke bare kalle ham for Anti-Blomsterstjernen, hadde nemlig lenge snakket om Ã¥ ta seg en velfortjent frihelg i sistnevntes 80-talls cabincruiser-ikon: Draco 3000. Men utfordringen er jo som alltid, at med lekne smÃ¥barn, mannskjære koner og unaturlig travle liv blir det dessverre sjelden tid til Ã¥ realisere den slags planer...

    Men for tretten dager siden, da solen plutselig tittet frem igjen etter den Ã¥rlige bergenske "syv-Ã¥rs-monsunen", klarte utrolig nok de 2 kompisene Ã¥ presse inn den forjettede gutteturen! Ikke en fullblods langhelg, men noen dyrebare timer mellom kl 16 lørdag ettermiddag og klokken 12 søndag formiddag... Men en mini-guttetur er heller ikke Ã¥ forakte? Her kombinerer man jo det beste fra to verdener: Familiekos & Haraball... Kan det bli bedre? (Sikkert...)

    Det skulle vise seg Ã¥ bli en kamp mot klokken og solen... I lynende fart (81 km/t i 80-sonen) suste de norske kopiene av Sonny Crockett & Rico Tubbs ut av bergensk politidistrikt og over Nordhordalandsbroen i blendende ettermiddagssol. I det fjerne blinket en av 80-tallets mest undervurderte cabincruisere... Men først mÃ¥tte det jo handles!

    Et brÃ¥brems utenfor landhandleren var selvsagt pÃ¥krevd. Ingen guttetur uten mat & drikke! Handlevognen ble ubønnhørlig stappet av øl i alle Tuborgs farger! (Kremt... da snakker vi altsÃ¥ om en sÃ¥nn barne-handlevogn...) Men sÃ¥... Plutselig var det som om verden sto stille for et lite sekund... Anti-Blomsterstjernen stilte det uunngÃ¥elige spørsmÃ¥let: "Hva skal vi lage til middag?"... SpørsmÃ¥let dirret i løse luften. Blomsterstjernens tanker løp løpsk... Mat? Guttetur? BÃ¥tkjøkken (byssen)? Anti-Blomsterstjernen..?

    Selv om Blomsterstjernen formelig elsker delikatesser og gourmetmat fikk han ikke opp annet svar enn et nølende "Joikaboller"..? Anti-Blomsterstjernen svarte uanfektet: "Jeg kunne heller tenkt meg Tapas"...

    Tapas? Tapas? Tapas? Tapas? Tapas?!? Til sjøss? På guttetur?!?

    Selv om dette kom som et gigantisk sjokk på undertegnede var han selvsagt hel-giret på idéen! Ikke i sin villeste fantasi hadde han sett for seg at dette kunne være et aktuelt middagstema på guttetur i en 80-talls cabincruiser... Men verden vil bedras.

    Landhandleren var i sjokk! Aldri før hadde han opplevd kunder som spurte etter Tapas-rÃ¥varer... Men innimellom butikkhyllene for potetkaker, kÃ¥lrabi, svineknoker og brun saus fant man likevel de ingrediensene man trengte for Ã¥ diske opp et helaftens Tapas-bord, til sjøss...

    Solen lå allerede lavt i horisonten! Her var ingen tid å miste!!! Brennkvikt (61 km/t i 60-sonen) brølte vi videre mot Cabincruiserdrømmen. Klokken ble godt og vel 18 før vi endelig kunne stige ombord i det flytende totalrenoverte klenodiet! Draftet ble saumfart etter nærmeste gjestehavn for egnet "gutteturing"...

    "Kjelstraumen" pekte seg raskt ut som et yndet motiv! Visstnok et yrende feststed! (ihvertfall sommerstid...) En rask telefon senere var beslutningen tatt! Joda Kjelstraumen (eller rettere sagt "Tjiiiedljjschtræææuumæn" som de lokale uttalte det) hadde både gjestehavn med strøm og en frekk pub som att på til var åpen helt til kl 2 om natten!!!

    Klokken nærmet seg 18:30 og solen senket seg allerede mot fjellknausene. Kalesjen ble flerret av i rekordtempo og de to mannevonde V8-erne knurret pÃ¥litelig under dekk. En drøy halvtime senere etter febrilsk kartlesing gjennom urent farvann ankret 80-tallets sønner opp ved gjestgiveriet nøyaktig da solen takket for seg! For en timing! For en tur! For en festaften dette skulle bli!

    Nei... De er ikke forlovet...
    Endelig kunne den første (eller var det andre?) ølboksen jekkes opp! Gasskomfyren ble tent og de 2 hypermoderne guttene satte i gang et Tapas-marathon uten like! Aldri før hadde nok den slags mat satt sine føtter i en av 80-tallets Draco'er? Nei her ombord var de nok langt mer fortrolig med Trøndersodd pÃ¥ boks, Karbonade pÃ¥ skive eller kanskje Toro's Jægergryte med lever - om det skulle være virkelig fint? Aldri hadde vel heller en sÃ¥nn mengde hvitløk fÃ¥tt fritt spillerom i byssen. En sydlandsk eim spredde seg over hele Nordhordaland denne aftenen. Fremmed-skepsisen kom til syne. Innbyggerne skalket vinduer, dører og luftekanaler i frykt for at de var blitt invadert av Iran, Irak eller Spania.

    En time eller tre senere sto middagsbordet endelig dekket med spicy kjøttboller i frekk chilitomat, lakserull-lefser med urteost, fylte olivener, dadler i røkt bacon og en soltørket tomatsalat. Selvfølgelig akkompagnert av en nitidig temperert rødvin fra Châteauneuf-du-pape, etter sigende til en verdi tilsvarende båtens nypris i 1981... På stereoanlegget buldret alt fra TnT, via Tindrum til Stage Dolls. Den perfekte taffelmusikk.

    Det mysne blikket var allerede pÃ¥ plass! Det var pÃ¥ høy tid Ã¥ oppsøke denne tilsynelatende heidundrane nattklubben som antageligvis hadde herjet Kjelstraumen siden oppstarten i 1610! Men først: oppvasken! Ja du hørte riktig!!! Moderne gutter foretrekker nemlig renhet og orden pÃ¥ gutteturer... Blomsterstjernen lever da ogsÃ¥ etter "alt som er gjort er gjort"-prinsippet. Og ingenting hindrer jo en liten bonus-øl under oppvasken?

    Kysten lÃ¥ klar! Nordhordaland skulle gjøres utrygg! De to kumpanene holdt ustø kurs mot vepsebolet; nattpuben! Men lange i gjeipen mÃ¥tte de raskt konstatere at høsten nok ikke var like attraktiv her ute i havgapet som den sydende fellesferien... Den forjettede nattklubben lÃ¥ nærmest brakk! Det eneste som rørte seg der inne var fire gamle fordrukne sjøulker som attpÃ¥til la beina pÃ¥ nakken da de kjente hvitløkseimen som fulgte i vÃ¥re fotspor. Men en ting skal de ha her ute ved kysten! NÃ¥r man spør etter en halvliter, ja sÃ¥ fÃ¥r man en halvliter! Ikke 0.45, 0.40, 0.33 eller 0.25 som er trenden innaskjærs...

    Etter endt plikt var det bare til å returnere duknakket men fornøyd tilbake til skipet, spanjolenes nordligste fort. Og etter nok en runde med nattlig tungrock og iskald nattpils var det tid for kahytten. Blomsterstjernenen passet visstnok perfekt i "akterkabinen" nærmest motorene da han i følge kompanjongen også hørtes ut som en dieselmotor nattestid... En av oss sov veldig godt. Den andre hadde øreverk.

    Og omtrent sånn endte da også denne moderne gutteturen. Kanskje ikke helt sånn man holdt på på 1600-tallet? Da vi våknet neste morgen skinte solen like fint og brorparten av alle drikkevarene sto uåpnet i kjøleskapet. Verden er tydeligvis i forandring! Men guttetur-idéen lever likevel videre: "det gjelder å løsrive seg fra dagliglivets plikter og regler". Så også ved frokostbordet... For når sant skal sies har det vel ALDRI hendt at tannlege-konemor serverer Cola og sjokoladepålegg til frokosten!

    Men til sjøss er alt lov! Takk og pris...

    God fredag og "Dra te sjøss"!

    P.S. For alle dere som lurer sÃ¥ kan jeg røpe at det ble benyttet Nugattis superdigge nyhet pÃ¥ morgenbrødet: "Melke-sjoko"

              Basar, bingo och loddtrekning...        

    Ja sÃ¥ var ventetiden endelig over! Etter 3 pinefulle, endeløse, langdrøye uker i smigerens tegn kan Blomsterstjerne-kikkerne nÃ¥ velfortjent lene seg tilbake i godstolen uten Ã¥ mÃ¥tte veie hvert bidige ord og hver eneste handling opp mot Blomsterstjernens noe innfløkte loddsankingsregler... Dere er FRI!!! Dere er i MÅL! Gratulerer!

    Noen vil gjerne si at det kanskje gikk litt pÃ¥ galleien med denne loddbasaren etterhvert? Det kunne kanskje virke som om loddsankingkriteriene ble mer og mer utflytende..? Ja det virket nesten som om nye regler poppet opp i takt med lesernes økende freidighet?!? Joda... Men sÃ¥nn skal det ogsÃ¥ være i Blomsterstjerneland! Alt er lov, ingenting er forbudt!

    Her ser vi Miss-Mette og Elisabeth Innerst i veien (til høyre) sette inn nådestøtet!
    Noen freske smiskepoeng smyges inn under bordet...
    Det skulle lønne seg.

    Etterhvert dukket det opp bÃ¥de hemmelige omregnede svenskepoeng, imponerende mimrepoeng, frekke blunkepoeng, sleipe dobbelvenn-poeng, selvpinende planespotterbonus og ikke minst todoble klumpepoeng... Folk gikk amok! Folk overgikk hverandre! Folk gjorde alt de kunne for Ã¥ hanke inn flest mulig lodd! Postkassen rant over av nakenbilder, skitne truser og skitne triks! Loddskalaen ble sprengt i fillebiter! Hele 57 loddbøker ble fylt til randen av loddtakere! Stakkars materialforvalteren...

    Blomsterstjernen hadde et svare strev med å telle alle loddpoengene!
    Langt bedre gikk det da Fjordlykke, Millie Moi og Mathildes Eden stakk innom for å "hjelpe" (dvs smiske...)
    Loddpoengene rant inn hos den høykorrupte materialforvalteren....

    En ting er Ã¥ annonsere loddtrekning, en helt annen ting er Ã¥ gjennomføre den, pÃ¥ rettferdig vis!!! For hvordan skulle man egentlig kunne vekte loddkjøperne riktig? Hvordan skulle man klare Ã¥ gjøre forskjell pÃ¥ dem som kjøpte 3 usle lodd og dem som forbrøt seg til hele 17 lodd?!? Hvordan skulle man fÃ¥ trekningen til Ã¥ gÃ¥ matematisk riktig for seg?!?

    Her ser vi de proppfulle loddbøkene til Maria fra Idekroken og Shy B (fra høyre til venstre)

    For som alle sikkert vet er jo en hver bloggkonkurranse juks fra ende til annen? Bloggeieren gir i 999 millioner av 1 milliard tilfeller enkelt og greit give-awayen til den deltakeren som bor nærmest sitt eget hus, slik at man elegant slipper unna de fæle 9,50 i porto. Det eksisterer ALDRI noen reell trekning... Dessverre...

    Stemningsrapport fra loddsanking, Avdeling Sør.
    Hver fredag kl 9:00 samles de 100 mest ihuga Blomsterstjerneleserne hjemme hos November Symra (mormor)
    Her ser vi husholdersken og Hverdagsglede i fint driv nedover siste langside mens de teller opp lodd.

    Men heldigvis finnes det en og annen hederlig person der ute i verden... Og Blomsterstjernen er en av dem, av og til... En  notorisk sporadisk gentleman..? Han slÃ¥r til nÃ¥r man minst aner det! Og i dag er en slik dag! Han ønsker Ã¥ la rettferdigheten seire! Han bryr seg ikke om vinneren sitter i Tsjernobyl eller Sudan! De er like mye verdt og fortjener like sjanser...

    Det var bare en ørliten utfordring... Hvilket instrument skulle han benytte seg av til trekkingen? Hva ville gi mest rettferdig resultat? Trekkbasun? Trekkspill? Trekkfugler? Dynetrekk? Gjennomtrekk? HjortetrÃ¥kk? Versaillestraktaten? Kaffetrakter? Kaffetraktor? Kiropraktor? Kiruna? Malm? Narvik? Tyskere? Tysk hÃ¥rgele med kokos & ananas smak???

    Blomsterstjernen gikk i harnisk da det gikk opp for ham at hele 289 basardeltagere ikke hadde kjøpt lodd!!!
    En skandale!!! Minuspoengene florerte til de 289 skamfulle leserne!

    Blomsterstjernen var sagtens rådvill! Han snekret derfor like godt opp et excel-program som kunne gjøre trekkingen for ham! Nå var det bare til å trykke på en knapp, og vips ville programmet plukke ut de hederlige vinnerne helt på egenhånd, naturlig vektet opp mot sine prosentuelle vinnersjanser! Blomsterstjernen selv kunne lene seg godt tilbake i det bobleskumfylte badekaret mens han nøt det hele på god avstand.

    Et ulykkeshjul?

    Det interessante med rettferdig trekning er at det ofte er svært urettferdig... For er man uheldig og konkurrerer mot såkalte heldiggriser eller lykketroll med sterke vinneregenskaper sliter man. I teorien kan vi jo ende opp med at en og samme person vinner samtlige premier!?!

    Hagealven Lunalu med 2 av sine magiske lodd...

    Vinnersjansene reduseres jo ikke om man allerede har vunnet 1 gang. Det er jo ikke tilfeldig at det er de samme tussaladdene som vinner i lotto hver bidige uke... Jaja, de om det! Trøsten er at man ikke blir lykkelig av premier..?

    Nei, la oss få det hele overstått!

    La oss trekke VINNERNE!!!
    "Excel Excel åpn deg opp!!!"
    All makt er i dine hender...

    Aller siste utgave av Excel ble brukt til loddtrekningen

    • ARMBÅND 1: Elisabeth - Innerst i veien
    • ARMBÅND 2: Hagealven
    • ARMBÅND 3: Miss-Mette
    • HAPPYLIGHTS: Millie Moi

    Honen mann!!! Hva i all verden!?! Det er det verste jeg har sett... Her har det tydeligvis sneket seg med en skikkelig "Heldigper" i gavedrysset... Hagealven Lunalu ble trukket ut hele tre (3) ganger!!! For en heldiggris! For en vinnerevne! For en vinnerlykke! For en urettferdighet...

    Ikke alle var like heldige med loddtrekningen...
    Her ser vi Tigertina og KlumpeSissel dobbelsjekke kupongen
    Om og om igjen, til liten nytte...

    Hadde kanskje Hagealven innledet et hemmelig forhold med Mr. Excel?!?! Hadde hun blunket seg elegant forbi alle de andre konkurrentene? Men hadde hun strengt tatt bruk for 2 sommerfuglbusker? Neppe...

    Blomsterstjernen er derfor sÃ¥ freidig at han tillater seg Ã¥ kjøre en liten omtrekking av den ene sommerfuglbusken (om enn ikke bokstavelig talt). Det var nemlig 3 gavedryssdeltagere som i sin kommentar virkelig ønsket seg et eksemplar av disse bevingete stiklingene; Anita, Tigertina og Villrose. SÃ¥ la det stÃ¥ mellom dem!

    Igjen gir vi ordet til Mr. Excel. Sim sala bim & Load Error:

    Den omtrukne sommerfuglbusken går til VILLROSE!

    En overlykkelig Villrose etter den noe uventede seieren i ekstratrekningen

    Ja så sjofel kan verden være! Ihvertfall når en Commodore 64 styrer verden...

    De heldige vinnerne bes opplyse sin adresse på mail til: blomsterstjernen★yahoo.no
    (Helt riktig... stjernen skal byttes ut med en alfakrussedull)

    Nei nå må jeg stikke! Jeg har gaver som må pakkes inn...
    Gratulerer alle mine vinnere og tapere!

    Kräm frän,

    P.S. Da det var et sÃ¥nt voldsomt ramaskrik blant bloggleserne da det ble klart at det IKKE var fruktkurv i førstepremie har jeg bestemt at vi skal gjøre alt som stÃ¥r i vÃ¥r makt for Ã¥ ordne opp i dette til neste bursdag...

    P.P.S Det er selvsagt ALT for moderne for dere andre Ã¥ benytte excel ved loddtrekning nÃ¥r dere selv en vakker dag skal kjøre gavedryss.... PÃ¥ vedlagte link finner dere et knippe hendige maskiner jeg vil anbefale pÃ¥ det varmeste... http://www.ringen.no/trekkesystemer.84358.no.html

              Cleaning Up after Livestock        

    Food for Thought

    As any pet owner knows, the more food that goes into an animal's mouth, the more wastes that eventually spew out the other end. The bigger the animal, the bigger its appetite. So imagine the volumes of manure—often tainted with germs—that farmers must manage for even a small feedlot with perhaps 3,500 head of cattle.

    Ordinarily, beef producers house their animals in pens—some the size of football fields or larger. They're designed to leave each animal about 80 square feet of space. Cattle wastes just fall to the ground and collect—often for a month or more—before feedlot crews periodically scrape away the muck. After composting, the dried manure will be applied to fields as a rich fertilizer.

    The real problem develops when it rains. Then, a manure-rich, watery slurry can drain off the fields. Conventionally, feedlot managers would divert this liquid into huge, smelly ponds or lagoons—some 10-feet deep or more, explains Bryan L. Woodbury, an agricultural engineer with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Nebraska.

    His team has been developing a literally greener alternative to pond storage for manure-laced runoff from feedlot pens. The new system directs that runoff into a foot-deep drainage basin. Leading out of it are a series of narrow pipes. Because the interior diameters of these pipes are small, rain-deposited wastes temporarily back-up in this glorified drainage ditch. It typically takes hours for all of the liquids to fully drain out through the pipes. While they wait, solids in the rain-manure slurry tend to settle out as sediments that will accumulate on the basin's bottom.

    Exiting liquids, meanwhile, flow gently into a mildly sloping field of grass, where the animal wastes will fertilize the plants' growth. At the end of the season, farmers harvest that grass as hay, bale it, and then feed it back to the herd.

    For much of the past decade, Woodbury's team has tinkered with the system's design to optimize gravity's removal of solids from the initial rain-manure slurry and the pace at which fertilizing water enters the hayfield. In terms of those features, the system appears ready for prime time—at least in the Midwest, Woodbury says.

    However, what hadn't been evaluated was the fate of germs that were shed by cattle along with those wastes. If the brief holding of the manure-water slurry and its subsequent release into fields promoted the growth of disease-causing microorganisms, those germs might eventually find their way into plants (see Not Just Hitchhikers). That would risk re-exposing animals that later dined on the tainted hay.

    A new investigation now indicates that although the raw manure often hosts germs, most of the nasty microbes hitchhiking in it appear to settle out along with sediments in the initial holding basin. Bugs that remain suspended in the water long enough to travel on to the fields don't appear to survive there long, Woodbury and his colleagues report in the Nov. 1 Journal of Environmental Quality.

    Indeed, the researchers note, while their new data "indicate that there is some risk for hay contamination, it appears to be low." For instance, on one day that hay was cut—two weeks after a major rainfall that shunted diluted manure into the field—only four of 10 tested soil samples hosted Escherichia coli O157.

    Yet only one of the 30 samples of loose hay that was cut that day from parts of the field that had received manure-fertilized rainwater tested positive for that E. coli strain. Microbiologists also failed to later detect that E. coli O157 in hay following its baling and storage.

    That's encouraging news because this bacterium has a long track record of causing disease. It was, for instance, responsible for the major food poisonings associated with tainted spinach in September 2006—an outbreak that sickened more than 200 people, killing five. These microbes can set up housekeeping in the bovine gut, causing no harm to the animal. However, germs shed in the cow's feces can infect people or crops that contact it.

    The Nebraska researchers also probed for evidence of Campylobacter, another bacterium shed by cattle that can provoke gut-wrenching illness. And although three of 10 field-soil samples tested positive after one major rain, none did 2 weeks later. The germ also failed to show up in loose or baled hay.

    Similarly, even though the test herd of 750 cattle had been periodically shedding large quantities of Cryptosporidium and Giardia—two common parasites responsible for substantial human disease, especially in persons with weakened immune systems—biologists found none of these microbes in field soil, much less the hay that had been grown on it.

    Woodbury and his colleagues conclude that their vegetative filtering of manure washed off of feedlots is effective in dramatically sequestering and ultimately removing several of the major families of microbes responsible for human, food-related illness.

    What they don't yet know is whether there will be significant rainfall constraints to their system's efficacy. Will arid regions benefit from it? Will very wet areas send so much fertilizer to hayfields that they burn the grass? "That's what we're in the process of testing right now," Woodbury says. "The jury's still out."

    Other advantages

    Earlier tests showed that the short-term basin storage of wastes upstream of the hayfield removes about half of the nitrogen in manure and almost all of the phosphorus, Woodbury says. That's important because one of the primary problems associated with fertilization of farm fields has been their release during rains of any unused nitrogen and fertilizer into streams.

    Eventually, the fertilizing effects of these nutrients in surface waters can fuel the growth of algae that ultimately suck most of the oxygen out of large patches of coastal waters, creating what are colloquially termed dead zones (see Limiting Dead Zones).

    The new waste-sanitizing system's basin also removes most of the solid material suspended in the rain-manure slurry. This means that about once a year, people must excavate the buildup from the basin. However, what they remove is no longer a waste, but yet another fertilizing amendment for farm fields.

    Oh, and Woodbury points to another potential advantage of his team's new system—something that he refers to as the "white picket fence effect." When people see a picket fence out front, they focus on that pleasant feature, and not every detrimental facet of a house or yard. Well, nobody views a big, smelly lagoon filled with bovine fecal material as the farm equivalent of a white picket fence, he says. A hayfield, on the other hand: That's almost Norman Rockwell Americana.

    If you would like to comment on this Food for Thought, please see the blog version.


    Bryan L. Woodbury

    Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

    Agricultural Research Service

    U.S. Department of Agriculture

    P.O. Box 166, Spur 18D

    Clay Center, NE 68933-0166
    Further Reading

    Milius, S. 2007. Not just hitchhikers. Science News 172(Oct. 20):250-252. Available at [Go to].

    Raloff, J. 2006. Protozoa aid food-poisoning germs. Science News Online (March 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Limiting dead zones. Science News 165(June 12):378-380. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2004. Marsh farming for profit and the common good. Science News Online (May 15). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Retail meats host drug-resistant bacteria. Science News 160(Oct. 20):246. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Germ-fighting germs. Science News Online (Aug. 18). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 2001. Antibiotic resistance is coming to dinner. Science News 159(May 26):325. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

    ______. 2000. Sickening food. Science News Online (Jan. 1). Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1999. Food poisoning: Sprouts linked to bouts. Science News 155(Jan. 23):63. Available at [Go to].

    ______. 1998. Hay! What a way to fight E. coli. Science News Online (Sept. 19). Available at [Go to].

    Seppa, N. 2000. Venison can contain E. coli bacteria. Science News (Aug. 5):95. Available to subscribers at [Go to].

              The Art of Lovin' Animals --- Featured Group of Artists Inspired by Their Beloved Pets.        
    "Enilde And Our Children" Oil on Panel 42" x 60"
    Painting by Luke Van Hook, 2003
    Painting and Photograph copyright by Luke and Ginger E. Van Hook, 2004
    Courtesy of the Van Hook Collection

    The Art of Lovin' Animals
    Features a group of artists inspired,
    motivated or influenced by their beloved pets
    and appear in this blog in the following order:

    Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom,
    Monrovia Association of Fine Arts supporters
    (KidsArt Studio, PaintNPlay Art Studios, Tyson & Tillman Skate Dogs)
    Family Dog and Cat Hospital in Monrovia, California (displays animal artwork).
    Ginger Van Hook, Luke Van Hook,
    Alex in Welderland, Elena Wolek, and Zareh.

    Additionally as part of the "Art of Lovin' Animals"
    there is a special book and movie review of
    John Grogan's book "Marley and Me", and the recent hit movie
    starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson

    Written by Enilde G. Van Hook with special thanks to all participating artists!

    Do you remember your first pet? I do. I even have a picture of how much bigger my cats’ paws were than my two feet put together at the age of three. My mother, tells me I had a yellow duck, a small dog and a large yellow tabby cat that owned me as a child.
    These three pets were protective, possessive and they were my first companions as I ventured out, for the first time, into my wild back yard of dirt and weeds. I was born in Rosario Argentina and to me now as an adult, my backyard is still my world. I live in Los Angeles, California but the romance of the Argentinean Pampas is not lost on me. From the pictures of my past, I gathered that my Belgian Grandfather, Francisco, ran a plant nursery in Buenos Aires and that my father, Luis, grew up to be an inventor in America. But the most unique connection I have to my past is my relationship with animals. I’ve had a pet at almost every age as I grew up. The importance of this type of companionship has not been explored enough in the art world, at least, this is my opinion. This is the reason I am blogging about the subject of the art and inspiration of lovin’ pets. I hope to instigate discussion, if not compassion. I hope to motivate an artistic response to my thoughts as well. You may have a completely different experience, so I personally encourage you to post your comments after you read this entry.
    This is what I asked myself for the subject of the essay for Ginger's Art Journal. What is the relationship of animals and pets to the art world? How involved are animals throughout the art strata? How much inspiration is gathered from the love of a pet? Can that even be measured? Does the love of a pet inspire political causes? Activism? How does one explain the pangs of loneliness from the loss of a pet? Does the death of a pet make an artist create more art? Does the gift of a new life of a pet inspire hope and renewal in artists? How do artists express their love and affection for the four-legged critters of our earth? How do animals, pets, pet trees, pet rocks or pets of any kind affect the process of making art?
    There are a number of artists that I have followed for a period of time to investigate the questions that will make up this entry. Studying the work of a number of local artists from the Los Angeles and surrounding areas that work with pets in their art practice, I will present some of their unique stories with photos. The artists, in alphabetical order, include Joshua Elias, Simone Gad, Betty Glass, David Newsom, Ginger Van Hook and Luke Van Hook, Alexandra from Alex in Welderland, Lena Wolek and Zareh. Additionally, the art of lovin’ animals has made a seamless transition from the literary art into the film arts so I will discuss one of my favorite books by John Grogan named “Marley and Me” as it compares to its latest movie version of “Marley and Me” starring Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson which opened in December for Christmas Day.
    The method selected to choose these artists was random. I began my animal photographic study in 2006. Through my daily practice of studying the arts, I have come across people who were “in my back yard” and came to connect with me in a special way. I didn’t set out to write a story about animals. I merely went about my daily routine of photographing people and artwork that caught my “eye” because I was at the right place at the right time. Believing that the universe has a special plan for me, I allowed this story to evolve of its own volition. What I discovered both surprised me and opened me up. What I mean by this is that I was surprised to discover that artists who had pets had a great deal in common with other artists who had pets. Most people know and understand the history that reveals how the Egyptians revered cats and how the dog is considered “man’s best friend”. While it was common to have general conversations about how great it was to have pets and create pet portraits, I rarely came across artists that spoke to the deeper underlying significance in the arts about this specifically. While doing this research, I came across the most extreme case of worshiping our pets. The act of cloning has been in the news ever since the cloning of “Dolly” the sheep, but did you know that now there is a company that has launched itself into a commercial venture to clone man’s best friend? I discovered this and lots more so enjoy the new year in 2009 with a renewed commitment to your beloved pet. This is an ongoing story so don’t feel left out if your best friend isn’t included in this entry. I’m still reviewing artwork and pet portraits,
    feel free to send me an email about your animal story and I’ll include it in the followup stories!


    Fine Arts Painter

    Joshua Elias, Exhibition, DCA Fine Arts
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Winston and Lucille read art literature on the couch and
    wait for Joshua Elias to become inspired to feed them.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    Paintings by Joshua Elias
    Art in the making at the Brewery Artist Colony
    Los Angeles, California, 2008
    Studio visit by Ginger Van Hook
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook
    Artist brushes belonging to Joshua Elias
    The instruments by which Joshua Elias creates the canvas of weather and inspiration.
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008
    DCA Fine Arts Gallery, Joshua Elias with Mathew Heller and his girlfriend
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook 2007
    Joshua Elias, Exhibition at DCA Fine Arts Gallery
    Santa Monica, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2007
    Joshua Elias with his cats Winston and Lucille
    in his studio at the Brewery Arts Complex in Los Angeles, California
    Photo copyright Ginger Van Hook, 2008

    Joshua Elias
    Artist Statement

    Art has become about large quantities of Resin, masquerading as Content. The focus has been on Process, confusing it with Content. Enough. I wish to focus on Content. Story and Vibration lead the way for me to paint.

    I work in oil because of the depth and movement that it allows for me, as a medium. I focus on Landscapes that are rearranged. Traveling spirits act as guides, to the movement of a particular painting. The influence of Moorish architecture and its many doorways offers and allows entryways into paintings.

    At present we are in a period of Time where there seems to be long standing fights over Space, Time Religion, Money, Ideology, and Relationships. Enough. The one thing we do all share is Weather. Through the action of Creating our own environment, our own personal Weather, the Repositioning of Weather can illuminate and allow for more Creation to happen, more of a Life Force to shine and to take shape.

    ï¿_ Joshua Elias

    Courtesy of the DCA website

    Fine Arts Painter, Collage Artist, Actor and Performer
    Simone Gad, Artist, Solo Show, L2Kontemporary Gallery
    February 2008 Chinatown, Los Angeles, California,
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Selfportrait with Max and Bella/Autoportrait avec Max et Bella
    Private collection, photo courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005
    Gad/Rin-Tin-Tin Collection Long Beach Museum of Art
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Picture Holocaust Clowns - Pinups 127, Gad and Poodle
    Courtesy Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Selfportrait with Cat and Jesus
    Private collection, Courtesy of Simone Gad, Artist, copyright 2005

    Hommage a Ma Mere 2005 Painting Collage
    Copyright and Collection- Simone Gad
    Courtesy Simone Gad-Artist
    Photograph by Antonio Garcia

    Autoportrait avec Kashmir, painting collage 2005/06
    Courtesy Simone Gad- Artist and L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California. Copyright Simone Gad

    Portrait of Bella, the Brindle cat, acting secretary for Artist, Simone Gad
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Bella the Brindle Cat, (on the Marilyn and JFK Installation)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of
    Jesse Bonderman and Simone Gad,

    Bella, the Brindle Cat #2 (Marilyn Installation)
    Photo courtesy of Jessie Bonderman and Simone Gad

    Portrait of Simone Gad, Artist with companion, Bella.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Portrait of Bella
    The Brindle cat, Artist assistant, model
    and loyal companion to Simone Gad.
    Los Angeles, California, Artist studio visit
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Max and Bella pose for pictures in the window of Simone Gad's artist studio
    Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Simone Gad poses with one of her paintings of Chinatown
    during her solo show at L2Kontemporary Gallery
    Chinatown, Los Angeles, California
    Photograph by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2008

    Enilde Van Hook writer's notes: I met Simone Gad at an exhibition of her work in Chinatown in the spring of 2008. The L2Kontemporary Gallery is a unique gallery located at 990 N. Hill Street #205 in Downtown Los Angeles (90012), California. I received an email from ArtScene, a wonderful source of local Art Events that is produced by the staff of Coagula Art Journal. Special thanks to Michael Salerno and Mat Gleason, because somewhere in the announcement, I read that Simone Gad was a Belgium-born artist and this led me to want to meet her to talk about the art in Belgium, where my grandfather had been born. Once I attended her exhibit and got a chance to meet Simone, I realized there was a distinct cultural connection we had through our reverence to the animals. She used images of her cats to make intriguing and poignant self-portraits and insightful photographic collages.
    I have followed Simone Gad’s work into 2009 and you will enjoy visiting her site through the L2Kontemporary Gallery located in Chinatown in Los Angeles: Follow these links to get to know a renaissance artist, a versatile film and TV actress, a woman of many talents and an artist who has a great deal of compassion to show for her animal friends: visit the online gallery site at http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view her solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume which may be viewed at saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name.
    Special thanks to the L2Kontemporary Gallery for cooperating with my interview! (www.L2Kontemporary.com and L2Kontemporary@sbcglobal.net and phone: 323-225-1288)

    Simone Gad
    Artist Statement and Biography: 2009

    I've been showing in museums and galleries for 40 years-am a 6 times grants recipient, including a CRA Grant 1986, the Woman's Building 1985/6, New Orleans Contemporary Museum of Art 1984, the Gottlieb Foundation-NYC/Painting Medical Emergency Grant, Change Inc-Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Grant-both in 2002 for painting and medical emergency, and Artist Fellowship Foundation Grant in 2007-NYC. I am included in the Archives of the National Portrait Gallery/Smithsonian-Washington, DC, and will also be included in the Lyn Kienholz Encyclopedia of Los Angeles Artists who have shown between 1944 and 1979. In Los Angeles, I am represented by L2kontemporary Gallery-Chinatown, Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco, and am showing in Spain. I am also in the traveling museum exhibition-Your Documents Please thru 2010 in Japan/Europe/Mexico curated by Daniel Georges of Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Brussels, Belgium to holocaust survivor parents, from Poland. We came to the US in the early 1950's and settled in Boyle Heights/E.L.A, after arriving at Ellis Island. My mother got me into show-biz at the age of 4 upon our immigration. I grew up in the entertainment field as a young actress-have been working professionally in film, tv, commercials and theatre ever since. Have always had a dual career-.visual/performance artist and actor. George Herms and Wallace Berman were my first mentors. Al Hansen was my mentor from 1972 to 1995 when he passed away in Koln, Germany.

    My cats Max and Bella Bettina Kashmir are my inspiration for many of my painting collages-have been so for many years. I've always been inspired by my cats and dogs that I've had since I arrived to this country from War torn Europe. My father got me my first dog-Teddy Queeny when I was a child living on Folsom Street-We had just returned from a movie on Brooklyn Avenue when we saw the puppies on our way home. I was allowed to have one-and I was so happy. But my mother hated animals and wouldn't let me keep my pet with me in my bedroom and it cried all night. I was heartbroken when I got home from Nursery School the following day and found that my dog was gone. My mom told me she had sent it to New Jersey to live with my Tante Sally. I wasn't allowed to have any animals after that. Years later I visited my aunt and asked her if she had taken care of my Teddy Queeny and she told me she never did-she never got the dog-didn't know what I was talking about. I realized that my mother had lied to me and had possibly killed my beloved doggie. I had moved to Topanga Canyon for a while in the late 1960's-that's where I got to know Wallace Berman and George Herms. I was given a miniature sheppard-who I named Lady. She was my constant companion and I adored her. She was run over by a couple of friends who were staying with me one night. I found her bleeding from her mouth by the driveway. She died in my arms and I could feel her spirit leave her body. We buried her the next morning. I was devastated for years. A friend of mine gave me a dash-hound and I took it home to be with me when I left Topanga and stayed with my parents for a while. I named her Wiggle Butts because she had this habit of wiggling her behind when she walked. I was not allowed to keep her-once again-so I called a friend and had her drive from The Canyon to pick Wiggles up and take care of her for me. When I left my parents and got an apartment, I got a cat-Nathaniel-my very first cat-who was with me for 15 years until he passed away. It was then that I started to incorporate animal objects into my collages-in the mid 1970's.

    copyright Simone Gad 2009

    http://www.l2kontemporary.com to view Simone Gad’s solo show at L2k for Feb 08 plus her updated resume-you may also get it on saatchigallery.org by writing in her name or wooloo.org by writing in Simone Gad’s name-



    Focus One Gallery in Monrovia, California. Sponsored by M.A.F.A.,
    the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts and Focus One Community Credit Union.
    Photo by Ginger Van Hook, copyright 2006

    Betty Glass celebrates Christmas with Lulu at home in 2008.
    Lulu, wearing her new holiday sweater,
    pokes her nose into the gift bag
    to see if she likes what Santa has brought her.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty Glass and James Glass.
    Turtle Painting, Watercolor Artwork by Betty Glass reminiscent of her pet turtles.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Trojan Horses, Watercolor painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.
    Hummy, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee and Sugar, Watercolor Painting by Artist, Betty Glass
    memorializing the life of her beloved friends.
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass.

    Yankee (5-17-80 --- 4-20-94)
    the larger white and orange Brittany on the right,
    and Sugar (7-20-90 --- 12-24-04)
    the smaller Brittany on the left.
    "Beloved Friends and Forever in our hearts!"
    Loyal Friends, Inspiration and Companions
    to Artist, Betty Glass and her family.
    (Special thanks to husband, James Glass
    for his technical computer assistance
    with digital photography formating of Betty Glass Artwork.)
    Photo copyright and courtesy of Betty and James Glass

    Enilde Van Hook, Writer's Notes:
    I met Betty Glass through the Monrovia Association of Fine arts in 2006. We were showing together at the Focus One Gallery on Huntington Drive in Monrovia, California. When Betty came into the gallery, she was toting her adorable poodle named Lulu. I was charmed immediately and I just had to have a photo of this beautiful female pooch with a twinkle in her eye and the gumption to come into an art gallery where only humans gathered. This little poodle had no clue there was any difference between her and her owner, and she acted like she was looking at the art just like everyone else. At the time, I considered this a very cultured poodle and I told Betty so. Betty giggled and let me take her snapshot with Lulu and then we did not see each other again until we had another show together, also at Focus One Gallery two years later in December of 2008. When I saw Betty this time, I saw the connection of her artwork and the love of her animals come through her work and later, she agreed to participate in the interview for my blog. You may enjoy Betty Glass's artwork by visiting her website at www.bhglassart.com

    Betty H. Glass
    Artist Statement about Animal Art

    Through art we communicate our feelings and thoughts.
    Our art reflects what experiences in life have influenced us.
    I have had a lifetime of pets
    ranging from goldfish, parakeets, and turtles and, of course,
    the loyal dog—always your friend even when the sky seems to be falling.
    I am still sketching and painting animals, birds, and fish.
    The softness of their fur, the texture of their feathers and fins,
    the variations of color are very appealing to me,
    because color is part of my artistic signature.
    Sometimes they are presented in a realistic fashion.

    Other times I use animals in a more stylized way—
    using their shapes as patterns, semi-abstracting them and their background.
    For example, my painting Trojan Horses shows flattened stylized figures of horses.
    Hopefully artistically pleasing and calling to mind ancient Greece.

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              Gato preto        
    Há exata uma semana fui visitar o pai de uma amiga na Asa Norte e encontrei um gatinho escondido debaixo dum carro no estacionamento. Sujo e carente.

    Depois de tanto fazer propaganda sobre a responsabilidade de cuidar de um bicho e que não é brinquedo pra cansar e jogar fora (afinal até um brinquedo pode servir pra outra criança, já nos diria a lição deixada pelo Toy Story 3) me vi na situação de olhar pro lado e ignorar o gatin ou resgatá-lo e encaminhar a um lar de verdade.

    Liguei para uma amiga que trabalha em uma ONG (Bsb Animal) perguntei o que fazer, como ajudar. Ela perguntou se eu poderia levar a um hospital veterinário para que fosse checado e então poder ser encaminhado a um novo lar. Disse que podia sim levar ao São Francisco pra que ele fosse examinado e vacinado e que até segunda veríamos de ela encaminhar ele a um outro lar provisório.

    No caminho ele fez xixi e cocô no banco do carro e também na lateral da minha bolsa. Mas eu na hora era puro instinto maternal de foda-se eu quero é proteger desse mundo cruel e pronto. Chegou a hora do atendimento e o dr. disse que os exames e tudo ficariam em torno de $200. Blz, caro mas vá lá, boa ação é isso aí. Pernoitou lá pra observação.

    Daí pra frente é que o negócio começou a fugir do meu planejamento:

    1) Voltei pra casa com carro mijado e filme do gato queimado piorando a receptividade da família ao visitante futuro
    2) No outro dia descobri que fizeram MAIS EXAMES QUE O PREVISTO e no fim o valor ficou em $436. Quase tenho um troço
    3) Por conta da situação de mal visto na casa tudo dele teve de ficar no meu quarto (hello cheiro de gato³)
    4) Desembolsei mais $38 no Extra pra comprar uma vasilha grande e retangular pra deixar a areia dele, a areia e ração
    5) Tentei limpar o banco do carro com sabão em pó, com lysoforme (ou algo parecido) que um amigo emprestou e nada prestou
    6) Não aguentando o cheiro dele e textura do pelo levei pro pet shop da Qd.8 do Sudoeste econômico pra dar um trato. Meia hora depois ele estava bem melhor: $23
    7) Descobri que a RestauraCar do Brasília Shopping me cobra $300 pra aplicar sei lá o que de ozônio pra tirar o cheiro
    8) Também descobri que pra castrar ele (isso a preço camarada de brother-de-ONG) um vet faz a $70

    E por enquanto o gato está lá em casa. Já demarcou o território dele fazendo XIXI NO MEU TRAVESSEIRO!!! Ele fica boa parte do dia dentro do meu quarto pra minimizar o dano lá em casa com a minha mãe. Meu edredom querido está todo lascado com pelo preto (embora ele solte bem pouco pelo) e cheiro geral de gato, não vejo a hora de lavar o edredon.

    CONCLUSÃO: Agora entendi porque as ONGs pedem tanta ajuda financeira e fazem tanto bingo e coisas beneficentes. Eles pagam os mesmos preços pra fazerem tudo isso e são os únicos que se importam. As pessoas acham que é bonito ter um gatinho hoje e jogar fora amanhã e tá tudo certo ou que é maldade castrar o bicho de estimação porque.. ah, sei lá pq, é cada desculpa que já ouvi. Mas na hora que o bicho aparece com doenças (porque as pessoas também acham caro vacinar os bichos) ou prenhas não sabem o que fazer com tanto filhote. Mega problema de saúde pública.

    Caso é que quero muito passar o gato pra frente mas não encontro quem o queira. O ideal, penso eu, seria adotar ele e outro/outra pra fazerem companhia. ambos CASTRADOS. Eu é que não tenho o espaço agora pra isso.

              Mother's first day        
    I had a feeling! I just did! I knew what ever I did to make the house clean she would fault it and she did. She showed up five hours too early, left her place at 3:30 in the morning, so I didn't get the new rugs laid down but the carpet was steam cleaned, kitchen cleaned, sprayed for fleas and any other bugs around. I even had a spray for the animal odors! Did that help????? Nope she came in and said my house smelled aweful! How's that for a loving mother????

    I know I shouldn't let...
              Transit in Turkey        

    I wasn't going to write any more about Istanbul.  I was only there, in total, for five days, and have already posted on the dervishes and the carpet sellers.  Besides, most readers will have been there, so what insights can I glean in five days that you don't already have?

    But Istanbul is such a great place!  & as I go through sorting out the photos they were calling me to write one last post on the place.  Just a quick one.

    Five days was plenty of time to visit the obvious tourist sights - the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sophia, the Topkapi Palace, the Yerebatan cistern, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and the Spice Market.  The most stunning of these is certainly the Aya Sophia, built in AD537 as a cathedral, converted to a mosque in 1453, and then to a museum in 1935, it is said to have changed the history of architecture.  For nearly a thousand years it was the world's largest cathedral, and certainly the size of the building is still impressive.

    But a few hours wandering around it, prying into all the little corners and looking up at what remains of the painted ceilings, is tremendously rewarding.  It has been restored, and added to, many times over the centuries and is stuffed full of marble pillars, intricate ironwork, golden mosaics, calligraphy, and even some blue tiled decorations hidden under an archway.

    The Bosphorus cruise was a little disappointing, though might have scored more highly in better weather - but was probably just about worth it for the delicious stuffed mussels and fresh sardines at the lunchtime stop.  Continuing on the food line, the Spice Market was great for filling those little corners of my case with delicacies I can't get at home - apple and cinnamon tea, local sheep's cheese, and a half-kilo of delicious dried cranberries.

    The other highlight was a trip to the exquisite little Chora Church, now the Kariye Museum.  It is full of golden mosaics dating from the early 1400s, as well as some reasonably well-preserved frescoes, and is well worth the effort of finding it.  In any case the locals are helpful - when my intended route was blocked by redevelopment a local man insisted on giving me a lift there, which was typical of the kind way I was treated by everyone I met there.  Unfortunately no more trips to Asia are in the pipeline but I certainly would not complain about another day in transit in Istanbul!

              Carpet sellers        
    Istanbul's carpet salesmen are legendary.  But when you know you are likely to be moving to work in a different continent within the next six months (where home could be any style of house or apartment in who-knows-what style and colour scheme) - or, if not, that you may be off back-packing round the world whilst deciding what to do next - then the temptation to buy an expensive carpet is pretty easily resisted.

    So on my initial transit through Istanbul (on the way to Kyrgyzstan) I let myself be led into a carpet shop to have a look at what they had to offer.  "Just looking".  I was shown carpet after carpet - from Turkey, from India, from Afghanistan, in wool, in yak hair and in silk, and in every colour under the sun.  But sadly I gleaned very little information on carpets, as the salesman was more keen to impress on me how big a discount he would give me if I would go somewhere with him in his car so that he could "show me how he loved me"(!).  No thank you.

    However in Uzbekistan, in a carpet-making workshop in the old city of Khiva, I saw a collection of silk carpets and totally fell in love with one.  If only I had somewhere settled to put it, and a spare $2,000...

    Back in transit in Istanbul again, thinking no more about carpets (other than the lingering regrets over not being able to buy the one in Khiva), I was walking through a park when I found myself in conversation with a friendly Australian woman, who told me she was in Istanbul for a few months doing some jewellery design.  We chatted a little, and she pointed out a few interesting historical things that we were walking past (that I would otherwise have missed), and then she asked if I'd like to see her jewellery.  Well it seemed a little rude to say no.  But would you believe it, her jewellery was on display in the front part of a carpet shop ... and when she invited me to sit down for a glass of apple tea it was in the carpet showroom.

    Whilst I had had no idea that undercover carpet sellers were now roaming the parks disguised as friendly Australians, I have to say that the man in the shop (the Australian rapidly disappeared - presumably to hunt down more victims) was very informative, and totally agreed, when I explained my situation, that now was not the time for me to buy a carpet.

    Having listened to his explanations of single -v- double knots, and the significance of the number of knots per inch, I finally asked him about prices.  A very nice wool carpet, about the same size as "my" silk one in Khiva, was worth €1,600, he said.  I told him about the carpet I had fallen in love with and he expressed total disbelief at the price - showed me a much smaller silk one in his collection priced at $11,000...  He wondered if mine might have been made of cheap Chinese silk although even then it couldn't be that cheap (in fact all the silk used in the Khiva workshop is grown in Uzbekistan).  I began to wonder if my guide had mis-translated 20 into 2, or if perhaps I had missed the bargain of a lifetime...

              Munching her carpet - SeventeenVideo        
    A pretty lesbian teenage cutie munching her friends carpet - SeventeenVideo porn tube - FANTASTUBE.com
              Purple Rain        
    Who remembers back in the late nineties/early noughties, when purple was the colour to deck out your room, adorn yourself and paint your nails in if you happened to be a girl aged nine to thirteen with a penchant for Mizz Magazine, lava lamps and wavy, silver-framed mirrors? It was cooler than liking the Barbie-reminiscent, childhood-connotative pink, yet still feminine enough to be girly without having the tomboyish reference of blue. I think my first style encounter with purple as a 'cool', I'm-not-a-kid-anymore colour, was when, aged nine, I persuaded my mum to buy me a sequin-covered, satiny pair of low strappy heels from Tammy Girl to wear at the school disco. The more my mum shook her head at the Spice Girl-esque shoes with their miniture heels and repeated that they were too old for a girl my age, the more I inevitably wanted them, until finally she gave in, making me possibly the happiest nine year old girl on the planet. I thought I would love those shoes forever.

    After that, purple was officially my favourite colour. I proclaimed a strong dislike for baby pink, adorned my eyelids with cheap purple eyeshadow from Boots and became the height of cool (or so I thought) by wearing those hideous stretchy plastic neck chokers from Claire's Accessories (remember those, girls??) Like any other self respecting pre-teen my age, when I was eventually allowed to have my room decorated in a colour of my choice, I went to town with an entirely lilac and silver colour scheme (FYI- our house resembled a building site for most of my pre-teen years, when we lived in a tent in the back of our garden whilst the entire roof was taken off and put back on again, before moving back in and living with bare plastered walls and glassless windows covered in plastic sheeting for a considerable amount of time, so finally having an actual room with painted walls was kiiiind of a huge deal for me).

    It was about the time I approached the age of fourteen, when I became a teenager overnight, that purple was suddenly no longer en-vouge. No longer content to listen to Dido CDs on my silver stereo whilst I crimped my hair and told ghost-stories to my friends on my purple, star-scattered duvet, I filled my days with reading melodramatic romance novels (The Thorn Birds, anyone?) watching hip-hop stars shake their bootys on MTV and lusting after miniscule items of fabric resembling clothing from stores like Clobber and Jane Norman (I know- the memory still haunts me today!) My desire to fit in and to become 'popular' and fanciable took over, and pink was suddenly acceptable again.  I adorned my planner with stereotypical-heartbroken-misunderstood-teen song lyrics, inked carefully in bubblegum pink gel pen, and drew felt-tipped coloured pictures of Disney Princesses to impress the popular girls (whose year eleven planners were covered in Disney Shop sticky-tape, printed with the pretty faces of Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella). I found a new relatability in the Disney princess films I'd watched as a child, suddenly able to fully appreciate the romance of being whisked into jasmine-scented night air on a magic carpet and into a diamond-studded sky by the handsome Aladdin. When I was sixteen, Barbie pink, Disney Princesses and girly memorabilia suddenly became cool again, whilst my sequin covered purple shoes were probably donated to a charity shop along with the purple dress with black lace overlay that I wore to celebrate the millennium. Having fully embraced my girly side again, I unashamedly sprayed my hair with magenta streaks, built up a collection of candy-coloured tops, skirts and dresses and lusted after boys in pink Hacket polos and pink-striped lacoste shirts. When I was finally allowed to re-decorate my room again, just before my GCSEs, the look was full-blown baby pink and black: think baby pink satin curtains edged with black beading and pink satin headboard embroidered with the outline of a black lace heart. Pink was in again, and I incorporated it into my makeup draw, pencil case, and of course, wardrobe. From the ages of fourteen to the age of around nineteen, I don't think I wore one single purple item.

    Since then, purple has slowly began to filter back into my style radar, and these days, being someone who is no longer limited by the desire to fit in as I was in my adolescence, I find that there is space in my closet for anything which happens to be inspiring me at the current moment, weather or not it's 'in'. My re-introduction to purple has began slowly, with a sparkly vintage indigo slip here and a deep mauve, slightly shimmery Mac lipstick there (it's called Violetta, btw, and it's my new best friend.)

    Just lately I've begun to be more and more inspired by the colour purple, and seduced by it's mystical, magical connotations. To me, as well as being the colour of my child-to-teen transition years, purple is the colour of night, mystery and magic. It's the colour of a star- filled, inky-dark night sky, a velvety smooth, gently rippling ocean and, correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure it's the colour of Dumbledore's moon-and-star covered cloak in the first Harry Potter book. What's more- for some reason- purple to me is also the colour that I feel best epitomizes the whole Harry Potter Series- that feeling of snuggling on the leather sofas on a humid day in our old playroom in summer whilst a thunderstorm rages against the rain-washed windows, that feeling of smelling the summer rain mixed with that distinctive, comforting musty smell of the pages of a book whilst reading about Hogwarts and Honeydukes and the Three Broomsticks- that magical, cosy feeling is inescapably and undeniably purple. And since I have been re-reading the entire Harry Potter Series almost every summer since I was eleven as a kind of tradition, I am currently starting again on The Prisoner of Azkaban, which is making me feel in a thoroughly purple mood indeed.

    Purple also reminds me of violets, which I think are some of the most beautiful, vibrant-petaled flowers there are. Right now in our garden, an array of lovely, jewel-toned purple flowers have recently burst into bloom, and when you look outside at dusk, it's like this muted lush green backdrop, scattered with dots of bright, vivid, purple that just seem to glow ultra-violet, like gems in the dimness.          

    These are all the things that are collectively inspiring me right now, and making me fall a little head over heels for the deep, mystical, night-sky shade. Not to mention that my uber-stylish friend Justine recently wore out a sparkly purple vintage top as a dress which I am a tiny bit obsessed with. As any readers of my previous posts will know, I have a major thing for vintage and also for anything sparkly, so if it's sparkly, vintage and purple, then you really can't get any better. Right now I love the idea of throwing on a sparkly, over-sized top/dress, teaming it with mega heels, tonnes of necklaces and long, wavy, free flowing hair. Here are some pictures that capture my current purple haze:

    Our garden at dusk, taken by me just after the rain had fallen:

      There's nothing like getting stuck into Harry's magical world for some mystical fashion inspiration worthy of Professor Trelawny (I get so inspired reading about her many glittering necklaces and strings of beads draped over layered-up, spangled shawls as she gazes into a crystal ball).

    From left: sparkly vintage top from Rokit, sheer lace purple blouse- gift from a vintage modeling shoot, purple dress, from a vintage shop in London

    These pics are all from the modeling shoot I recently did- sadly none of the clothes are mine, but these potfits were two of my favourites!
    Me wearing sparkly purple top, Rokit Vintage, Bomber jacket, Rokit Vintage, levis cut-offs, Rokit Vintage, booys, Topshop

    Hop you all enjoyed the post...:-) xxxxxxxxxxx
              Celeb style crush gallery        
    Purely for inspiration purposes, I have decided to create a gallery of all my celeb style crushes of the week! If ever you're feeling uninspired, take a little look through my collection of weekly celeb style crushes to give yourself some fun, crazy, celebrity style ideas! Each week I'll add a new pic :-)

    Florence Welch
    Taylor Momsen
    Kristen Stewart
    Kristen again!
     Nicola Roberts, I actually want to be you. So perfect.
     Since I accidentally skipped a week, here is an extra picture of Nicola that I also would have put up, and which, despite being about a year old, is STILL inspiring me now. The perfection of this outfit can never quite fail to impress me every time I look at it.
     Kristen working red carpet chic
              Emmys 2015: See all the red carpet photos        
    The 2015 Emmys are here, and while, sure, it’s fun to see who wins, let’s face it — it’s the red carpet we really want to see. Here are all the looks from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. And follow along with social media reaction to the show below.
              Five Dog-Friendly Workplace Myths Busted!        
    Ben and Jerry’s, Proctor and Gamble, Google and Autodesk – what do they have in common? If you guessed: ‘dog-friendly workplace’ – you’d be right!  But these corporate giants aren’t the only companies welcoming canines – Softchoice is also proud to be a dog-friendly office! And, according to a study by the American Pet Products Association, nearly […]

              Shiloh, the Husky Lab: A Human Trapped in a Dog’s Body        
    Name/Nickname:  Shiloh Marie Eatherton Age & Breed:  6 years old, female, lab/husky mix Position:  Seattle Office Custodian (Vacuuming/inhaling a few loose snacks here and there…that’s my specialty!) Owner:  Michelle Eatherton, Vendor Marketing Manager Pet Peeves:  Dogs that act like dogs.  Have some class. Talent:  My office  upbringing allowed me to hone my shredding skills.  I started off […]

              Pooch Profile: Chewie the Havanese wants to be the boss one day!        
    Name: Chewbacca but most people call me Chewie or Chew-Chew. Age & Breed:1 ½ year-old Havanese. Position: Assessment Services Canine Consultant and Deputy Softchoice Greeter. Owner: Jeff Pamenter, Services Consultant, ITAM Services Pet Peeves: Shiny black dress shoes, high heels, and people who try to make me play tug’o’war. I’m a business dog, thank you […]

              Pig Wants Little Girl’s Headband (Video)        
    Little girl named Breanna, aka Bean, plays with her pet pig, Bitsy....
              Paul Smith Junior Poppet T Shirt 440 Light Blue        
    Paul Smith Junior Poppet T Shirt 440 Light Blue

    Paul Smith Junior Poppet T Shirt 440 Light Blue

    Paul Smith Junior baby boys light blue Poppet t shirt

              Artist: Banksy        
    Banksy has made an installation in New York called "The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill" and apparently he's using some crazy animatronics. CRAZY.
    Here are some stills of a few of his Village pets:

    There's a bunny in her boudoir.

    And fish sticks in their tank.

    And Chicken McNuggets slurping up BBQ sauce!

    The videos of the installation are definitely the most amazing, though. I like the one of the monkey sitting in a dark space with headphones on, watching other monkeys doing it.

    I also love the video of the hot dogs and other various processed meats looking like happy turds under their sun lamps.

    If you want to learn more about the installation, go to the Wooster Collective.  For a great video of some of the reactions to Banksy's work, go to The Guardian.

              5 Roommate Struggles Every Girl Understands        
    When you have a roommate, you start to notice every little detail about them.  You know their pet peeves, their cleaning habits, their unique characteristics… literally everything!  Sometimes you leave the year as best friends, other times you leave wanting nothing to do with one another.  If you’ve had a roommate, you’ll understand these 5 […]
              Rainbow Carpet Girls        
    An eclectic look at women today
              Part Time Sales Associate - Pet Valu - Corunna, ON        
    Please advise us if you have any questions or should you require any of our materials in an alternative format. What you get:....
    From Pet Valu - Thu, 20 Jul 2017 02:52:51 GMT - View all Corunna, ON jobs
              Holy May        

    days have turned a bit chilly lately,
    nice afternoons at home
    surrounded by blossoms
    and beautiful vintage florals,
    funny pet patches...
    mostly working on dolls (forever unfinished)
    and diys.
    enjoying home.
    wishing you a happy and crafty may.

    parece que ha vuelto el frío,
    la lluvia...
    y con todo ello vuelven las tardes en casa,
    trabajando en muñecas (que nunca acabo) y tutoriales,
    rodeada de flores de todo tipo,
     las estampadas y las reales,
    y también de parches bordados de animalitos retro.
    se está bien en casita.
     feliz y productivo mayo 

              The canine line        
    I had to wait until I was in junior high school to get my first dog. I guess I had shamed my parents enough by then.
    He was worth the long wait.
    He had the name of millions. Sparky. But — and I say this unabashedly, even when I know how corny it sounds — he really was one of a kind.
    I did have a dog when I was much younger, two, actually, but both wound up not working out too well. I don't remember the first, a beagle that, my parents told me later, jumped all over me ruthlessly. That dog was built for the field, not a home with a toddler, and he was gone a year later. The second was Max, and Max was great to me, but as it turns out, too great, as he bit a few other children to protect me or his ball. I do remember that. We gave him away too.
    So looking back, I can't blame my parents for making me settle for a hamster.
    As it turns out, my parents probably congratulated themselves on their brilliant coup, for the hamster was a good pet. The first one anyway. I named him George, and save for two "Escape From Alcatraz"-like jailbreaks —he'd learned how to do pull-ups on the cage and yank himself over the top, so if you left the lid open, you were screwed —he was Hamster of the Year two years in a row. He loved to be held, ate carrots in my lap and rarely peed on my leg, despite the fact that I had him out most of the day. I don't think you can ask much more of a hamster than that. My brother had similar luck with his first. I think her name was Sadie.
    Those were high standards, I'll admit, and rather than even attempt to try to match them, the next few hamsters owned by me and my brother failed miserably. One passed the pet store test, but when we brought her home, liked to crawl in my hand and bite me like my palm was a piece of steak. Another HISSED at us. And a few just died of some strange disease the pet stores called "wet-tail."
    I remember the last time, on my third replacement for George, when it died, when my parents finally gave into my tears as I pleaded for a dog. I was going through a bad stretch in my life, perhaps my worst. Junior high school was no joke. I was teased and needed therapy for depression. Seriously. Rather than put me on medication, they gave in and got us a dog.
    That's all I needed.
    • • •
    It wasn't just us. Everyone loved Sparky.
    He was a beautiful dog, for one thing, a miniature version of Lassie, and in our society, beauty always helps. But just as there are sweet supermodels, sometimes personality is not only a bonus, it's the reason you love. Sparky lived in a world where most of us, including me, aren't allowed. It was a world where everyone was someone to be trusted and enjoyed rather than feared. That was unusual for a sheltie, but his past was clean, and since we got him as a puppy, we kept it that way.
    We had next-door neighbors with a lifelong friend of mine who loved shelties, and if one ever came over, Sparky barked until he or she took them over to their house for a visit. Later, when I brought him to Greeley after I grew up (sorta), he wandered from apartment to apartment on his good days. He loved playing tug-o-war with his sock, and I'm already going too long about it. You can read more about him in this column I wrote for the Greeley Tribune, but don't click on it just yet. Sparky is only kind of the point, and the subject of the column may jar you a bit.
    He lived 15 years, and when I finally had to let him go after his kidneys shut down, I waited a long time to get another dog. That wasn't necessarily by design. I had a cat, a wonderful stray I called GK who was like a dog that meowed.
    (On a side note, cats may have to rethink their position on this planet because as much as I love them —GK saw to that —the best compliment I can give a cat is that it's like a dog).
    When I met Kate, she had cruel allergies that would not let her have a cat, and she tried her heart out, but in a close call, right down to inches on the tape, I had to give GK up to a great home.
    (On another side note, I knew I made the right choice when they contacted me just recently to tell me about her death after what we think was her 17 years of life. They acted as I did with Sparky, waiting until her pain was too much, which told me all I needed to know. She had cat buddies and a constant lap, which was all she needed).
    At this point I knew myself. Another hamster wasn't going to cut it. We went to the shelter looking for a husky.
    And what we got was Denali.
    • • •
    Sometimes you find a dog, and sometimes, dogs find you. That's how we got Denali. He was a golden retriever mix with raggy, yellow fur, but he nabbed us with his tail. It wouldn't stop wagging. Later it was his eyes and sweet, needy personality. He was the dog who taught us to be parents.
    Now you can click on the column.
    I know now why there are a dozen ghost shows on TV, and why many of them are popular. I swear I can still hear his tags around the house. The habits have stayed with me, too. I reach for his snout when I open the door after work. I wait by the back door and call his name before I leave for the day. I hear a jingle and wonder what he's getting into.
    Kate told me she wanted to wait to get another dog, probably past July, and I agreed with her.
    But sometimes you find a dog, and sometimes, dogs find you.
    After the column ran to a predictable cascade of letters and messages, one caught my eye. It was from a recent but trusted friend telling me about her dog. She was fighting, being attacked really, by their other, older dog. They got her in November.
    Everything about her sounded great. She was an Australian shepherd mix, calm and loving but active, which meant I could both run and snuggle with her. She was great with small kids, scrawny but a good size, a chewer but only on her own toys. She was good on a leash. She was well trained. She liked other dogs and did well at the dog park. She would need exercise, but anyone who knows me - and I know you do if you've made it this far - knows that isn't a problem.
    I'm a firm believer in shelter dogs. I will always adopt. They got her from the shelter. But I also know, from our experience with Denali, that many of those dogs are unpredictable at first, with unknown histories, and with our family, that was not only a bit dangerous, it was foolhardy.
    Here was a chance we may not have again for a while.
    Kate, at first, didn't want anything to do with it, and I didn't blame her. I felt guilty for asking so soon after Denali. How could we replace him? But I went to see her, and she was everything we thought.
    I knew Kate had softened her thoughts after she asked for a picture. Then she asked if we could change the name.
    We picked her up today.
    Say hi to Ranae.

    It may take a while before we feel the same love for her that we did for Denali or I did for Sparky. But that's OK. Sometimes a dog finds you if you let it happen. Maybe something else was guiding this. The hand of Dog, if you will.
    On that note, despite my belief in some sort of higher power, I'm honestly not sure if there's a heaven. But I'm open to the idea because where else would Sparky and Denali be now? Just before we put Denali down, before I told him I loved him and thanked him for 11 incredible years, I told him about Sparky.
    Sparky loved everyone, I told him, and he'll love you. You two need to find each other and play. Maybe one day, Ranae and I will see you both again.

              New Old Stock Outrage La Poupette Made in Italy Green Ski Pants Matching Unattached Belt Lined S/M by tightsweaterloretta        

    40.00 USD

    New Old Stock with Tags
    Outrage for Sailing and Skiing, label reads, "Outrage Made somewhere in Italy"
    Size reads USA 12, but not a todays size 12, please read measurements carefully
    deeper green similar to a Kelly green
    72%Cotton, 28% Nylon
    sweet strawberry print lining
    zipper side pockets, back pocket, side leg cuff zippers with snap closures
    zipper crotch closing with snaps
    matching unattached belt
    cute little girl sewn on emblem that reads "La Poupette La Poudreuse"

    Waist 26", Hips 38", Length 39"

    US shipping only
    No overseas or international shipping


              Thoughts On Jack Kornfield’s Shambhala Sun Piece About Burma        
    Jack Kornfield has a new piece about the violence committed by Burmese Buddhists against Muslim Rohingyas in the latest issue of Shambhala Sun. You can read it online here, or download a PDF version of the magazine pages here. This is a snippet from the very beginning: On the surface, upcountry Burma is not very […]
              YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME?!?!?        
    "Hey.  Nice tit bags, lady.  Those puppies just got you a free dessert."
    I hate pompous servers.  Especially the ones who act like what they do is sooooo dificult.  I've never been a server myself but I know it can't be that hard.  High schoolers do it for fuck sake.  I'm sure by now everyone has seen these smug little articles being shared by bartenders and servers all across the poisonous landscape of Facebook.  Facebook is a landfill of filth and rot.  The dumbest of the dumb share whatever insanely moronic article that happens to pass by their eyeballs.  Without even reading it all the way, they frantically smash the "share" button so they can be the first idiot fuck to pollute a social media site with information that isn't even close to being correct.  For example...a month ago some dickless fuckin knob I went to high school with shared an article saying how Aaron Hernandez was acquitted of all charges and set to rejoin the Patriots for the playoffs.  Really.  You don't say.  Well just a simple Google search would have shown this guy that he's a total fucking dipshit.  But I guess he would rather look like an idiotic ass then take the two God Damn seconds to FACT CHECK himself.

    I'm getting away from myself.  Anyway...there are these articles being shared that are written by bartenders and servers loudly boasting about all the things they can't stand about the people they serve on a daily basis.  A "dos" and "donts" as a customer, if you will.  Oh, really?

    First of all, you're a server.  You're doing a job that business owners and managers entrust to immature, teenagers that specialize in fucking up.  You are 100% replaceable so don't act like you're saving the fucking world here.  Second of all, if you hate all this shit and the people you serve so much...GET A DIFFERENT FUCKING JOB.  You are literally the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to the work force.  I respect janitors more.  So GIVE IT A REST on these bitching lists or do something else for a living.

    After (regretfully) reading these hilarious lists, I have decided to concoct my own list of "dos" and "donts" for people responsible for serving me food.  If you get to air your grievances then I think it's only right that I get to air mine.

    1.  Don't act annoyed that I'm there
    The only time you're allowed to act like a cock is if some asshole waltzes in 10 minutes before close.  Because that's a fucking dick move.  Taco Bell closes at 3am.  Go shove that in your fat, lazy mouth, loser.  I have a 30 minute rule that I operate by.  If you close in 30 minutes or less...I won't come in.  Because that's rude as fuck, IMO.  But if you close in 40 minutes then you're fair game.  So if I'm giving you that courtesy, then I expect it back, fucko.  Don't roll your damn eyes at me if I walk in at 9:20 and you close at 10.

    2.  Know the menu
    If the menu says "a starch" comes as a side and you can't name that starch, it makes you look like a moronic toad.  Not to mention that it also happens to be YOUR FUCKING JOB to know.  Let's not gloss over that.  And for the love of Baby Jesus's dirty diapers...don't tell me that "you think" the starch is mashed potatoes and then bring me grits.  Because I fucking hate grits.  Have you ever bit into grits expecting it to be mashed potatoes because that's what your server told you?  There are no words to describe the fury.

    3.  Remember my order
    Listen.  No onions is a pretty simple request and pretty easy to remember, I would think.  If you have problems remembering things that were discussed about 8 seconds ago then write it down on your standard restaurant issued goofy little notepad thing.  Don't act like Johnny Fuckin Know-it-all and forget I hate onions by the time you get back to the kitchen because you can't stop starting at hostess Monica's barely 18 tits.  No one likes a hero, pal.  And another thing.  If you fuck up my order, don't go back to the kitchen and have one of the high school drop outs working the grill just scrape off what I don't like with his nut skin.  Re-do it.  You're the one who fucked up.  Not me.

    4.  I'm not a professional eater
    More times than not, I utilize the appetizer page of the menu.  Fuck off, I like to eat.  Just because I eat like a hog doesn't mean I care to look like one too.  So wait until I've finished my appetizer before you bring anything that has to do with my main course, dick smack.  I don't even give a rat's ass if you take my entree order WHILE I'm enjoying my appetizer.  Go nuts, if you must.  Just don't shove everything I ordered in front of me all at once.  I'm not Joey Fucking Chestnut.  I'm not housing everything in under 6 minutes.  Furthermore, I don't care to ruin any shirt sleeves from unknowingly dipping them into the marinara trough as I reach for my double bacon cheeseburger.

    5.  Pet names
    These are annoying.  Don't use them.  I'm not a "hun" or a "sweetie" or a "babe".  I'm a fucking man with a fucking name that you don't need to know or use.  Your job isn't to get to know me on a personal level.  Your job is to take my order (correctly) and make sure Billy Trailer Park in the back cooks it right without doing anything illegal to it.  That's it.  Pretty simple.

    6.  Refills
    This pisses me off like no other.  I don't know how everyone else here is, but I must have a beverage at all times while eating.  I just do, okay?  I shouldn't have to stop you as you pass by my table for the 5th time and beg for a refill after my drink has been empty for 10 minutes.  I know you've had a tough night because you just got 30 Snapchats of your girlfriend getting finger slammed in some college guy's TransAm but don't take your grief out on my thirst.  I'm sure you have "a lot of tables" but making sure my drink is always full goes a long way towards that tip you think you deserve so much.

    7.  Tips
    Here's my philosophy on tipping.  You have to fucking earn it.  I'm not going to automatically tip the suggested 20% if you've been a dead fish all night.  I can't stand it when I get reminded that servers rely on tips to survive.  Oh yeah??  Then they better do their fucking best at earning those tips, now shouldn't they?  And if I'm paying in cash then bring me back bill denominations conducive to tipping properly.  Instead of giving a ten and two fives, bring out a ten, a five and five ones.  That's serving 101, dick head.  If you don't give me proper tipping change then that shitty tip is on you, hoss.

    8.  Check, please.
    I hear this a lot...in the whiniest, most nasally voice ever.  "I hate it when people stay too long after their meal.  They don't realize I make more money by flipping tables faster."  Is that a fact?  That's odd because it always takes forfuckingever to get my check and have you process it.  The checkout process should take no more than 5 minutes.  Drop check off, fill another table's drinks, come back to me, take check with my cash/card inside, swipe card or cash out, bring back, goodbye forever.  Simple.  I don't want to be there any longer than you want me to be there, shit lips.  So let's do each other a fucking favor and speed this whole process up.

    Eight is an odd number to end on but whatever.  This was strictly off the top of my head with no real structure.  Just an angry retort to asshole servers who think they're better than the people they serve.  So shove that up your asses, dick wads.  You guys think you're so fucking perfect but guess what?  You suck just as much, if not more, than the shit heels you serve and bitch about on the Internet.  The same people you rely on to put gas in your Honda Civic that gets you to community college you'll never finish.  I hope you enjoyed your dining experience with the Iceman today.  I'm here to make the world a better, more hate filled place for all.
              How to Have a Diaper Party!        
    He's magnificent.
    Quick Note: It's fucking cold outside. If you notice a dog tied up outside, CALL THE FUCKING COPS! If you notice a dog in a fenced in yard for a long time without any human attention, CALL THE FUCKING COPS! Seriously. I know you don't want to get into it and it might end up being a hassle, but that dog is going to fucking die. I can't imagine much that is more excruciating than freezing to death. And I'm not sure there is a better indicator of being an awful fucking human than letting a pet suffer in that way. CALL THE FUCKING COPS! END RANT.

    Alright, today we are talking a father's most cherished moment...the diaper party. It's like a bachelor party disguised as men caring about an unborn child. A truly beautiful thing.

    This past weekend I attended a diaper party for a certain former commenter who will not be named. It was a grand ol' time, outside of being suckered into a theological debate until 5 AM and being witness to a 3 AM prayer circle. So it was basically my sophomore year of college all over again. But there was plenty of beer, a pretty awesome basement that featured a pool table and a shuffleboard table, good people, five hours in the car with a Rex, and a floor for me to crash on...at 5:30 AM. I also woke up with no pants on, but thankfully covered by a blanket. Pretty sure that's how diaper party's are supposed to go.

    So I want the Money Shot Maniacs to have a part in planning mine. Here are some key components I think need to be addressed going in:

    Beer Selection: Quality or Quantity?
    My friends can drink. A lot. And I'm not throwing a diaper party just so all you/those fucks can get drunk on my dime. Oh, you brought a $12 pack of diapers? Sure, drink all of the Two Hearted Ale you want. Fuck that noise. Do I set up a tiered system for the party goers? Natty in one keg--under $15, Yuengling in another--$15-$30, and then Guinness in the VIP section-$30+. This could work.

    Shit to do: GREATEST IDEA EVER!
    You want to know my grand idea? HIRE A BLACKJACK DEALER! Seriously, what could be better than that for a diaper party? Okay, strippers would be better. What about strippers who deal blackjack?!?!?! Do you understand what I'm doing here? I'm taking the diaper party game to the next level!
    Next Level
    The Host: Umm...Me?
    I have been to 3 diaper parties, and not once has the father hosted. Is that how these things usually go? 1. I don't think I want anybody else planning this thing. I pretty much planned and organized my own bachelor party. I'm not a control freak, but I like to have a plan. 2. How does that conversation even go? "Hey bro, I'm having a kid. Can you call all my friends and tell them to bring me diapers and then we can get drunk together?" Sounds weird to me.

    In-laws: Invited?
    Do I have to invite Mrs. Ace's dad? I mean, he's an alright guy. I guess. But assuming I'm hosting this thing at my house, that's a 2.5 hour drive for him. Do I then have to offer him a bedroom? I really don't want to. How about younger brother-in-laws? My brother-in-law is a Junior in high school. I'm pretty sure he drinks, as I predicted he would be total stoner 5 years ago and I usually have a pretty good success rate with those predictions. He's also dating a freshman in college...maybe I should just invite her friends.

    Food: WE B GRILLIN'?
    I don't think I can host a diaper party with a bunch of bros and just offer them seitan and some veggie dogs. The diaper party this past weekend had a nice spread; meat and cheese tray, some wangs, pulled pork, and some peanut butter cracker sandwiches covered in chocolate that I consumed at least 50 of between 2AM and 4AM. But I plan on doing this thing in May, which means it's grillin' season. Burgers and dogs it is, right? Or do I grill some wings to and really show off my chops? Wait, do I have to fucking cook for this shit too?

    I have 5 months to get this all planned out and I want to do it right. What say you, Money Shot Maniacs? What's the proper way to throw a diaper party? It's just a more mature version of a bachelor party, right?
    I'd bring this guy just for you, Ide/Dut/Shook's Sons

              Da li muskarac treba da brije svoje dlake na kurcu ili ne        
    Doci ce dlake opet u modu! Wink
              Da li muskarac treba da brije svoje dlake na kurcu ili ne        
    Prstic secemo. Smile))
    `el kao poklon za rodjendan?Smile

    Prstic secemo. Smile))

    šta?............da sisamo............Smile))

    paziti da fotelja ne ushtine...
    ondaK mora puno da se sisa...
    opet sisa...
    a doope...u fotelji...

    damice...bidni dobra, vish sta mi radish,bwe!Smile
              Da li muskarac treba da brije svoje dlake na kurcu ili ne        
    `el tje neka da obrije choveka il mislite josh da se za`ebavate, a posle da kukate kad se zagrcnete...

    dali sam u pravu il mi je kriv...
    ovaj, u krivu...

    da li...

    Salvadore...di si sad...
    opet me zbunjuju...Unhappy
              What the hell are we doing?        
    The conversation about asylum seekers is getting more and more emotional on both sides, as the bodies are piling up. I am not much of a psychologist, but I suspect that part of what is making people scream so loudly is that it's getting quite clear that the old "nobody there is in real need of help anyway" and, on the other side, "we gotta help everyone who needs help" are not working anymore: there are obviously lots of people really in need of help, and we just as obviously cannot help them all. All that can be discussed at this point is numbers, which kind of takes all fun away from an ideological debate, and pisses off both sides.

    But yes, lots of people are trying to get to the EU and apply for asylum. And no, for the most part we cannot help them where they are. In the places overrun by ISIS, for example, "helping them where they are" would, I am afraid, involve a summary execution of all the members of ISIS, which is rather expensive, and likely to produce a lot of innocent victims if done by carpet bombing.

    I am looking at all this, and I am wondering: what the fuck are we doing? I don't even mean that we are taking too many, or too few: how are we going about it, and who gets selected?

    Seriously, this makes no sense at all: we (Europe) build fences and do everything we can in order not to let asylum seekers into the EU. Then after some of them do get into the EU, we have to take the applications from all of those, and in the first country they arrive to (I can see how Italy and Greece might be a bit pissed off by this system, and we would be too if the eastern neighbor suddenly started producing refugees). Then the applications are considered, hopefully to the best of the officials' ability, and their ability is not all that good: it's hard to say who is a criminal, it's hard to say who is a terrorist, it's sometimes even hard to say who is who and who is from where. But then, after an application has been approved, we are not gonna kick the person out no matter what kind of criminal he or she has turned out to be.

    What is the sense of all of this? We are actively selecting the people who can get to Europe in something that doesn't deserve to be called a boat, and can afford to pay the smugglers. I totally think that both young men, and people who have money can be just as worthy of asylum as for example poor old women, but is there any point in actively selecting them, and in the process encouraging lots of people to a) risk their lives while crossing the seas on god-knows-what, and b) give their money to the people who provide that unseaworthy transportation?

    Can't we, like, decide on how many we can take, handle the applications elsewhere, and then let the winners of that lottery arrive on a proper ferry with proper papers, while turning the users of Oh-Shit-The-Raft-Is-Leaking Sea Transportation away on arrival? People are not dumb (well, most aren't), and if rafting over the Mediterranean is not occasionally rewarded with a residence permit they are likely to stop doing it.

    And please, can we send the seriously criminal ones back? On the Oh-Shit-The-Raft-Is-Leaking Sea Transportation, if needed. Yeah, the transportation might take a downward direction, quite literally. Yeah, they might be subjected to inhumane treatment there. They will probably have to take a number and stand in line for that along with half of the population, many of whom we have turned away to begin with, but anyway... Tough shit. They could've thought about it before robbing or raping somebody. No matter how many or how few refugees we decide to take, all the refugee places should be reserved for regular people trying to resettle and live a normal life, not for somebody wanted for terrorism in Iraq or armed robbery in Finland.

    We can fight about the numbers later, but can we put some sense in the procedure first, and fast?

              How to Clean Vomit Out of Carpet        

    Many people consider the carpet as one of the main centrepieces of a room. It can compliment or contrast one’s wall paint and decor as well as provide a stylish surface for equally stylish furniture. Unfortunately, as important a carpet is to the balance and feel of a room, it is also one of the […]

    The post How to Clean Vomit Out of Carpet appeared first on Interior Decorating Tips.

              Adventures in Homeownership Part II: "So, uh, When's Recycling Day?"        
    (Rickey’s Hebrew ancestry totally comes in handy when it comes to stacking massive pyramids of boxes).

    As you can tell from the above picture, as of this Saturday, the Hendersons are officially moved in and are thoroughly enjoying their new home. Not that the process leading up to this point has been painless… There have been Armenian carpet bandits who refused to refund Rickey for work they never did. There have been movers who ripped up a perfectly good couch and refused to honor the insurance policy Rickey purchased. There has been the landlady who won’t let the Hendersons off the hook for their lease and who Rickey secretly suspects was somehow involved in the Holocaust (as in, a relative of hers fell out of a guard tower and she was fairly broken up about it).

    …And finally, there was the boiler that broke down THE FIRST NIGHT the Hendersons spent in the house. Rickey kids you not. They say that during your first night in a new house, you’ll stay awake all evening thinking of the things that need to be fixed. Well, the Hendersons spent their first night awake for a somewhat different reason: huddling for warmth with the outside temperate reading 9 degrees outside and the thermostat in the house plummeting to 44 degrees. It was a character-building experience.

    After an emergency visit from the oil company, the boiler is now operational and things have normalized. Here are a few pics of where things stand at the moment:
    Rickey only tossed up photos of the main floor, primarily beacuse its the only area where some semblance of order exists...
              Selena Gomez Red Carpet Styling        
    Selena Gomez the young celebrity is in need of a last minute makeover before she hits the red carpet Use all the different options to make Miss Gomez look absolutely stunning Her regular stylist has not turned up for todays events Prove to Miss Gomez that you are just as good as the professionals Change the backgrounds to get a good contrast on the style your creating Good luck and remember to have fun while creating an awesome style
              Johan Lundberg "Det sista museet"        
    Identitetspolitik. Jag är inte helt säker pÃ¥ om nÃ¥gon använder begreppet i positiv bemärkelse, eller om det enbart används som skällsord. Skulle kunna beskriva exempelvis min egen forskning (kring vardagligt historiebruk) som sysslande med ”identitetspolitiska frÃ¥gor”, frÃ¥gor om genus, klass, sexualitet och liknande, men med ”identitetspolitik”? Knappast. Forskning bedriver inte politik. SÃ¥ är det dock […]
              Comment on Pentingnya berorganisasi by jatnika        
    tulisannya bagus, jadi dapet pandangan yang lebih luas tentang organisasi
              In praise of the BBC        

    This blog does its fair share of whining about daft things on the BBC, especially its website (“constructive criticism.”) There are disturbing current plans to cut back on everything good about the BBC, with a loss of 2,500 jobs. According to last week’s Guardian, the BBC’s high-profile serious journalists, such as Paxman, have been told not to express their criticisms of this sort of stuff on air.

    The director-general has been quoted voicing the sort of Dilbert-speak that bodes ill for any organisation, from the perspective of both staff and customers. For example:

    ….his plan would deliver “a smaller, but fitter, BBC” in the digital age.
    The six-year scheme, called Delivering Creative Future…..

    Over the past few years, the BBC has expanded from being a public-service broadcaster – worthy enough in itself, to providing an almost unequalled Internet news resource. In the face of a general dumbing-down of television to a level that the average pet tortoise would find intelligible, the BBC still provides some tv and radio of amazing quality .

    Well, it seems this all has to stop. The new plan is for more repeats, cuts to the television news, fewer current affairs programmes, fewer non-commercial kids’ programmes, ads on international stuff..

    The editors’ blogs sound like it’s all an exciting new opportunity. Well, wouldn’t you, if you might be facing redundancy and criticism wouldn’t keep you out of that media dole queue?

    …standing still is not an option because our audiences are changing and we must change with them….

    Changing? More than normal changes then? In what ways? Granted most people have cable or satellite. I admit to watching minimal terrestrial tv, but that’s not because it’s over my head. It’s because most of it is hopelessly poor:

    • Soaps that should be poured down the plughole.
    • Reality shows that would make you want to Columbine the whole human race, if they actually bore any relationship to “reality”
    • Home / clothes / lifestyle makeovers, all aimed at a general transformation of the UK into a giant open-plan Stepford.
    • Programmes about raising children that make B.F. Skinner look laissez-faire
    • Plastic surgery programmes that actually promote it
    • Programmes about celebs and their weight problems
    • 100 greatest/worst adverts for car wax, or similar. With slightly recognisable talking heads discussing the choices
    • “Programmes” with a chirpy talking head and a screen puzzle designed to keep the drunk or mentally ill phoning in to “answer” trick questions at £300 a nanosecond

    Basically, tv that would make the choice between watching it and gnawing off your own arm quite a difficult decision.

    Is it the changing audience that’s driving this? If the audience is changing to be made up of the bedbound with broken remote controls, then maybe.

    The BBC, although not blameless, is the least offender in this crap. It still represents so much of what is worthwhile in British culture. Cuts in its budget, cuts in its real staff….

    Argh. That was the crunch of tooth on right arm flesh.

              8 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Me        

    When tapped to share “8 things you probably didn’t know about” James Farrar he noted that blogging is quite the “exhibitionist” activity. Much of my blogging experience these past years has been more in audience capacity; a vicarious blog explorer, rather than an active onstage character. Vicarious means I observe certain events by “imaginative or sympathetic participation in the experiences of another”.

    Others’ blogs expose me to great examples of: storytelling, journalism, innovation and when done expertly well, art. While exploring, I’m often wondering what it would be like to write as prolifically or as creatively or as knowledgeably as the bloggers whose contents I follow. Fair, although hardly shy, I do feel a bit the wallflower while the nimble waltz me by with dizzyingly and dazzlingly clever insights, observations, perceptions and opinions.

    I’ve imagined what I would write on the off-chance that someone might tag me for the “8 things you probably don’t know about me” meme. But I was caught off guard (gobsmacked as the brits would say) when I happened upon my name in James’ blog: the Wisdom of Clouds. It’s like someone asked the ungainly girl at the school party to dance to be nice. Thanks James.

    Eight is a lot. I’ll start chronologically.

    1. When I was 4, my sister was born on my birthday. For years afterwards I assumed that all families had that same arrangement, meaning siblings who were not twins also shared a common birthday. The realization that my belief system was faulty was very traumatic.

    2. When I was about 8 years old, I separated from my parents while on board the Sternwheeler (steamboat) called the "The American". We were visiting an ill-fated and short-lived amusement park in the Bronx (New York) called: Freedomland U.S.A. There is a certain irony to all this. The year was 1960 and the civil rights movement was coming into its own with the Greensboro Four staging a peaceful sit-in at Woolworth’s in North Carolina, breaking down the segregation walls in the south. Back on the steamboat, my parents found me quickly. I was staging my own sit-in of sorts, in the steamship’s bandstand. There they found me sitting entranced on a trumpet player’s lap. His name: Louie Armstrong. I’ve always loved his voice and music.

    3. When I was 10 I decided to have a “penny fair” and created an amusement park in my yard. I gathered $5.57 cents from all of our neighborhood children (a great many pennies). Although rather pleased with my entrepreneurial success, I wound up donating the money to a school for mentally handicapped children. The principal sent me and the neighborhood children a very nice thank you letter.

    4. When I was 16 I discovered that although my sister and I shared the same birth date, it wasn’t the one recorded in our birth certificates. My mom had changed them both by a few days to give us the opportunity of starting kindergarten early. I think it was a shocking revelation that documents could be misleading or doctored.

    5. At 20 I took a road trip across the US. It was the summer of ’74 and in California, after a day of many driving mishaps; I got pulled over by the police. I had gotten a ticket earlier that day for speeding on the freeway. While paying my speeding ticket, I parked in a no-parking zone. I then proceeded to run a stop sign. It was a bad-hair driving day.When I saw the flashing lights in the rear-view mirror I was baffled. Couldn’t think of a single additional infraction I might have committed other than the fact that our car was a real jalopy with only one workable door, totally dust-covered and we (my future husband and I) looked a bit like ’70’s hippies after our 6 weeks on the road. I roll down my window (I’m the driver) and ask: “yes officer?”, failing to notice the growing number of squad cars accumulating behind us. The policeman looks oddly tense. “Did you hear about the bank robbery?”, says he. “Oh sure”, says I., “I’m Bonnie and this” (pointing to my future husband) “is Clyde”. The policemen weren’t particularly amused as they pulled me out of the car thinking I was the fugitive kidnapped newspaper heiress turned militant, Patty Hearst .

    6. I studied theater directing in the Tel Aviv University drama department. In 1979 I turned down an invitation by the national theater to assistant direct and work with theater luminary Joseph Chaiken on “The Dybbuk”. What we do for love. I was expecting my first child.

    7. In the early eighties, before “Glastnost” and the subsequent transparency policies of Gorbachev, I went on a small mission to meet with prisoners of conscience and human rights activists in a number of cities in the Ukraine and found myself and travel partner “interviewed” by the KGB concerning our activities in each city. I think I’m a “persona non grata” in the former Soviet Union.

    8. In the middle nineties started a grassroots movement of citizens concerned about environmental hazards and the rights of local residents and was invited to speak in the Israeli Parliament, together with my Bedouin neighbors.

    Now, grannimari is quietly and sedately working as an online community evangelist for the Business Process Expert Community. And looking to the community members who inspire and challenge her thinking. In that spirit of letting no good deed go unpunished, I’ll tag: Jim Spath , Eddy De Clercq , Jen Robinson, Thomas Ritter, Dick Hirsch and Ram Tiwari

              Comment on Game of Thrones S07E02 by olja        
    opet nema klipa
              (IRP8IEZS) Pet Immune Motion Sensor (PIR Sensor)        
    (IRP8IEZS) Pet Immune Motion Sensor (PIR Sensor)

    (IRP8IEZS) Pet Immune Motion Sensor (PIR Sensor)

    Honeywell evohome security wireless pet-immune motion sensor (IRPI8EZS) Designed to dramatically reduce false alarm from pets, the sensor uses a high quality lens to detect intruders, together with heat detection and passive infrared. It can identify (and ignore) animals weighing up to 36Kg- simply set the senstivity when you configure the system.   0 X 12m Range Pet immune, up to 36Kg One battery (CR123A in box) 112 x 60 x 40mm

              We run a basic business. Some might call it boring.        
    When you read about startups and fast growth software businesses, you always read about cool, young, hip groups of people with open-space offices that have exposed HVAC ducts and ping pong tables and bocci ball and on-site yoga instructors and tattoo artists and in-house cafes with organic pasture raised free range free lunches and programmers with red beards and red pet parrots on their shoulders and bean bags and white boards all over the place because the brilliant ideas are flowing so fast and freely that you can barely contain them and a CEO who meditates on his/er stand-up desk and whose blog posts are featured in TechCrunch and Medium and there are no walls or cubes but rather a “highly collaborative” environment where all of these amazing people plan to change the world!

    And then there’s Schedulefly.

    Five dudes in their 40’s who live in different cities, don’t have meetings (we had one, four years ago, over lunch for a couple of hours - the pic of the event is here), or even conference calls (we’ve literally never had one), and we each just do our own thing every day, knowing that we all have 100% trust in each other to do what needs to be done, and we communicate with each other individually as needed. And what needs to be done is getting the basics right - every single time. The software should be easy to use and always work and solve the common problem of restaurant staff scheduling and communication being a pain. The web site should be fast. People who email us should get a quick, helpful response. People who call should get a live person or a very quick return call and have a real, authentic conversation with somebody who genuinely cares about them and wants to help and who will happily spend as much time as needed with them to do that. Free trials should be set up quickly. Bills paid on time. And we should spend time and money highlighting some of the many, many, many thousands of talented, inspiring people we are so fortunate to serve with our books, podcast, and video series.

    That’s really all there is to it. Honestly I think a lot of people would get bored with this business because we truly aren’t trying to change the world and we don't have or do all of those things that inspire Inc Magazine cover articles. We’re just keeping our heads down, our blinders on, and staying focused on those basics, while having balance in our lives so that we can keep doing this forever without getting burned out. It might be boring, but we couldn't imagine doing it another way.

              Pontoon Boat Carpet Replacement – step by step        
    One customer recently asked me, he was thinking of replacing his pontoon carpet with indoor/outdoor carpet tiles and whether or not could they be used on boats?
              Carpet Shampoo 1L - TCCH1        
    Carpet Shampoo 1L - TCCH1

    Carpet Shampoo 1L - TCCH1

    Concentrated Carpet Shampoo with New Carpet Fragrance. 100 : 1 Concentration level. Designed to be used with carpet cleaning machines or simply diluted in water for manual cleaning of carpets & fabrics

              Semi-custom window treatments BY DeCocco Design!        
    Small blast of the trumpet please.  Finally ready to make this exciting announcement about a new venture for DeCocco Design.  We're getting ready to launch our very own line of semi-custom window treatments, sold right on the website! And they're going to look amazing in your home!

    I've long wished for a choice between the blah, low quality, ready-made options offered by the big catalog/stores and the high price point of truly custom products.  That choice has never appeared to my satisfaction, so I'm going to do what any pioneer woman would--do it myself.  Of course, that's with the help of Gail, my hard working partner in this project, and a cast of amazing suppliers, all found right here in the U.S.A.

    Our launch date is sometime this Spring, so I'll tell you more as the days go by. There's SO much to do, including a full reswizzle of the website.   In the meantime, look at these photos from Houzz.com.  They all show how beautiful draperies can polish, warm and finish a space.


              2 Pemimpin yang Bijaksana dan Bertanggungjawab        

    Mahmud Ahmadinejad atau bisa dibaca Ahmadinezhad adalah Presiden Iran yang keenam dan memperoleh 61.91% suara pemilih pada pilpres Iran tanggal 24 Juni 2005. Jabatan kepresidenannya dimulai pada 3 Agustus 2005. Ia pernah menjabat walikota Teheran dari 3 Mei 2003 hingga 28 Juni 2005 waktu ia terpilih sebagai presiden. Ia dikenal secara luas sebagai seorang tokoh konservatif yang sangat loyal terhadap nilai-nilai Revolusi Islam Iran, 1979.
    Lahir di daerah desa pertanian Aradan, dekat Garmsar, sekitar 120 kilometer arah tenggara Teheran pada pada 28 Oktober 1956. Dia merupakan anak keempat dari tujuh bersaudara, berasal dari keluarga Syiah. Orang tuanya,seorang Tukang Besi, Ahmad Saborjihan, memberi nama Mahmud Saborjihan saat lahir. Dia menggunakan nama tersebut hingga sebuah keputusan besar mendorong keluarganya untuk hijrah ke Teheran pada paruh kedua tahun 1950-an.
    Di Teheran, ayahnya merubah namanya menjadi Mahmud Ahmadinejad sebagai isyarat religiusitas dan semangat mencari kehidupan yang lebih baik, karena Saborjihan dalam bahasa Parsi berarti pelukis karpet, pekerjaan yang jamak dilakukan di sentra karpet seperti Aradan, sedangkan Ahmadinejad berarti ras yang unggul, bijak dan paripurna.
    Dia lulus dari Universitas Sains dan Teknologi Iran (IUST) dengan gelar doktor dalam bidang teknik dan perencanaan lalu lintas dan transportasi.
    Pada tahun 1980, dia adalah ketua perwakilan IUST untuk perkumpulan mahasiswa, dan terlibat dalam pendirian Kantor untuk Pereratan Persatuan (daftar-e tahkim-e vahdat), organisasi mahasiswa yang berada di balik perebutan Kedubes Amerika Serikat yang mengakibatkan terjadinya krisis sandera Iran.
    Pada masa Perang Iran-Irak, Ahmedinejad bergabung dengan Korps Pengawal Revolusi Islam pada tahun 1986. Dia terlibat dalam misi-misi di Kirkuk, Irak. Dia kemudian menjadi insinyur kepala pasukan keenam Korps dan kepala staf Korps di sebelah barat Iran. Setelah perang, dia bertugas sebagai wakil gubernur dan gubernur Maku dan Khoy, Penasehat Menteri Kebudayaan dan Ajaran Islam, dan gubernur provinsi Ardabil dari 1993 hingga Oktober 1997.

    Ahmadinejad merupakan pemimpin yang sangat sederhana. Pernah suatu ketika ia diwawancarai TV Fox (AS) soal kehidupan pribadinya. “Saat anda melihat di cermin setiap pagi, apa yang anda katakan pada diri anda?” Ia menjawab “Saya melihat orang di cermin itu dan mengatakan padanya: “Ingat, kau tak lebih dari seorang pelayan, hari di depanmu penuh dengan tanggung jawab yang berat, yaitu melayani bangsa Iran”. Sungguh pemimpin yang sangat rendah hati.

    Saat pertama kali menduduki kantor kepresidenan, Ia menyumbangkan seluruh karpet Istana Iran yang sangat tinggi nilainya itu kepada masjid2 di Teheran dan menggantikannya dengan karpet biasa yang mudah dibersihkan.
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mengamati bahwa ada ruangan yang sangat besar untuk menerima dan menghormati tamu VIP, lalu ia memerintahkan untuk menutup ruang tersebut dan menanyakan pada protokoler untuk menggantinya dengan ruangan biasa dengan 2 kursi kayu, meski sederhana tetap terlihat impresive.
    Di banyak kesempatan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bercengkerama dengan petugas kebersihan di sekitar rumah dan kantor kepresidenannya.
    Di bawah kepemimpinan Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saat ia meminta menteri-menterinya untuk datang kepadanya dan menteri-menteri tersebut akan menerima sebuah dokumen yang ditandatangani yang berisikan arahan-arahan darinya, arahan tersebut terutama sekali menekankan para menteri-menterinya untuk tetap hidup sederhana dan disebutkan bahwa rekening pribadi maupun kerabat dekatnya akan diawasi, sehingga pada saat menteri-menteri tersebut berakhir masa jabatannya dapat meninggalkan kantornya dengan kepala tegak.
    Langkah pertama Mahmoud Ahmadinejad adalah ia mengumumkan kekayaan dan propertinya yang terdiri dari Peugeot 504 tahun 1977, sebuah rumah sederhana warisan ayahnya 40 tahun yang lalu di sebuah daerah kumuh di Teheran. Rekening banknya bersaldo minimum, dan satu2nya uang masuk adalah uang gaji bulanannya. Gajinya sebagai dosen di sebuah universitas hanya senilai US$ 250.00.
    Sebagai tambahan informasi, Presiden Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad masih tinggal di rumahnya. Hanya itulah yang dimiliki seorang presiden dari negara yang penting baik secara strategis, ekonomis, politis, belum lagi secara minyak dan pertahanan, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bahkan ia tidak mengambil gajinya, alasannya adalah bahwa semua kesejahteraan adalah milik negara dan ia bertugas untuk menjaganya.

    Satu hal yang membuat kagum staf kepresidenan adalah tas yg selalu dibawa Presiden Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tiap hari selalu berisikan sarapan; roti isi atau roti keju yang disiapkan istrinya dan memakannya dengan gembira, ia juga menghentikan kebiasaan menyediakan makanan yang dikhususkan untuk presiden.
    Hal lain yang diubahnya adalah kebijakan tentang Pesawat Terbang Kepresidenan, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad mengubahnya menjadi pesawat kargo sehingga dapat menghemat pajak masyarakat sedangkan untuk dirinya, ia meminta terbang dengan pesawat terbang biasa dengan kelas ekonomi.
    Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kerap mengadakan rapat dengan menteri-menterinya untuk mendapatkan info tentang kegiatan dan efisiensi yang sudah dilakukan, dan ia memotong protokoler istana sehingga menteri-menterinya dapat masuk langsung ke ruangannya tanpa ada hambatan. Ia juga menghentikan kebiasaan upacara seperti karpet merah, sesi foto, atau publikasi pribadi, atau hal-hal seperti itu saat mengunjungi berbagai tempat di negaranya.

    Saat harus menginap di hotel, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meminta diberikan kamar tanpa tempat tidur yg tidak terlalu besar karena Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tidak suka tidur di atas kasur, tetapi lebih suka tidur di lantai beralaskan karpet dan selimut. Apakah perilaku tersebut merendahkan posisi presiden? Seorang Presiden Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, tidur di ruang tamu rumahnya sesudah lepas dari pengawal-pengawalnya yang selalu mengikuti kemanapun ia pergi.
    Andai saja Indonesia memiliki pemimpin-pemimpin seperti beliau, tidak hanya Presiden, tapi juga semua perangkat pemerintahan, maka Indonesia pasti sudah menjadi negara yang maju. Mari kita berharap agar pemimpin kita bisa belajar dari beliau.

    Belajar menghukum Koruptor bangsa ini harus berkaca kepada China. Ketika dilantik jadi Perdana Menteri China pada 1998, Zhu Rongji menyatakan, "Berikan saya 100 peti mati, 99 akan saya kirim untuk para koruptor. Satu buat saya sendiri jika saya pun melakukan hal itu."

    Zhu tidak asal bicara. Cheng Kejie, pejabat tinggi Partai Komunis China, dihukum mati karena terlibat suap US$ 5 juta. Tanpa ampun. Permohonan banding Wakil Ketua Kongres Rakyat Nasional itu ditolak pengadilan.

    Perdana Menteri Cina Zhu Rongji

    Zhu di awal tugasnya mengirim peti mati kepada koleganya sendiri. Hu Chang-ging, Wakil Gubernur Provinsi Jiangxi, pun kebagian peti mati itu. Ia ditembak mati setelah terbukti menerima suap berupa mobil dan permata senilai Rp 5 miliar.

    Xiao Hongbo dijatuhi hukuman mati,lelaki 37 tahun yang menjabat Deputi manajer cabang Bank Konstruksi China, salah satu bank milik negara, di Dacheng, Provinsi Sichuan, itu dihukum mati karena korupsi. Xiao telah merugikan bank sebesar 4 juta yuan atau sekitar Rp 3,9 miliar sejak 1998 hingga 2001. Uang itu digunakan untuk membiayai kehidupan delapan orang pacarnya.

    Xiao Hongbo satu di antara lebih dari empat ribu orang di Cina yang telah dihukum mati sejak 2001 karena terbukti melakukan kejahatan, termasuk korupsi. Angka empat ribu itu, menurut Amnesti Internasional (AI), jauh lebih kecil dari fakta sesungguhnya. AI mengutuk cara-cara Cina itu, yang mereka sebut sebagai suatu yang mengerikan. Tapi, bagi Perdana Menteri Zhu Rongji inilah jalan menyelamatkan Cina dari kehancuran. Zhu tidak main-main. Cheng Kejie, pejabat tinggi Partai Komunis Cina, dihukum mati karena menerima suap lima juta dolar AS. Tidak ada tawar-menawar. Permohonan banding wakil ketua Kongres Rakyat Nasional itu ditolak pengadilan. Bahkan istrinya, Li Ping, yang membantu suaminya meminta uang suap, dihukum penjara.

    Wakil Gubernur Provinsi Jiangxi, Hu Chang-ging, pun tak luput dari peti mati. Hu terbukti menerima suap berupa mobil dan permata senilai Rp 5 miliar. Ratusan bahkan mungkin ribuan peti mati telah terisi, tidak hanya oleh para pejabat korup, tapi juga pengusaha, bahkan wartawan. Selama empat bulan pada 2003 lalu, 33.761 polisi dipecat. Mereka dipecat tidak hanya karena menerima suap, tapi juga berjudi, mabuk-mabukan, membawa senjata di luar tugas, dan kualitas di bawah standar.

    Agaknya Zhu Rongji paham betul pepatah Cina: bunuhlah seekor ayam untuk menakuti seribu ekor kera. Dan, sejak ayam-ayam dibunuh, kera-kera menjadi takut.

    Kini pertumbuhan ekonomi Cina mencapai 9 persen per tahun dengan nilai pendapatan domestic bruto sebesar 1.000 dolar AS. Cadangan devisa mereka sudah mencapai 300 miliar dolar AS.
    Sumber : http://semuana.blogspot.com/2011/02/inilah-2-sosok-pemimpin-yang-dibutuhkan.html

              Sharepoint Web Services: creating Lists        


    Just felt like posting this snippet that shows how to create a List in Sharepoint using the web service that SP provides. Those web services could be found at hhtp://superDomain/sites/elSite/_vti_bin/Lists.asmx. Once you add the service reference to your project and create the proxy, the function of interest here is AddList() also how you define your InnerXml property for the new fields node is important and easy to make a mistake with. So as always with Sharepoint is very trial and errorish at least for me (scarred for ever by SP)

    I hope this snippet stands the test of time in this blog post and I can easily find it one day, or if I can help some poor soul traveling through the Sharepoint ‘realms* the better/

    More information can be found in MSDN at  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/lists.lists.addlist.aspx


    public void CreateList()
         var listService = new Lists
           Url = @"http://superDomain/sites/elSite/_vti_bin/Lists.asmx",
           Credentials = CredentialCache.DefaultCredentials
         const string listName = "Web Service Created";
         var listCreatedAsXmlNode = listService.AddList(listName, "Web Service Created List Description", 100);
         var listRetrieved = listService.GetList(listName);
         XmlNode version = listRetrieved.Attributes["Version"]; 
         var xmlDoc = new XmlDocument();
         var titleAttrib = (XmlAttribute)xmlDoc.CreateNode(XmlNodeType.Attribute, "Title", String.Empty);
         var descriptionAttrib = (XmlAttribute)xmlDoc.CreateNode(XmlNodeType.Attribute, "Description", String.Empty);
         titleAttrib.Value = listName; // Can use this to update it
         //descriptionAttrib.Value = "!" ;
         var properties = xmlDoc.CreateNode(XmlNodeType.Element, "List", String.Empty);
         var newFields = xmlDoc.CreateNode(XmlNodeType.Element, "Fields", String.Empty);
         newFields.InnerXml =
         @"<Method ID='1'>
           <Field Type='DateTime' DateOnly='TRUE' DisplayName='My Date Field' FromBaseType='TRUE' Required='TRUE' Description='some text description'/>
         <Method ID='2'>
           <Field Type='Number' MAX='10' DisplayName='NumberColumn' FromBaseType='TRUE' Required='TRUE' Description='This is a Number' />
         <Method ID='3'>
           <Field Type='Calculated' DisplayName='MyCalcField' ResultType='Text'>
                 <FieldRef Name='Title'/>
                 <FieldRef Name='NumberColumn'/>
           <Method ID='4'>
             <Field ReadOnly='TRUE' Type='Counter' PrimaryKey='FALSE' DisplayName='Counter' FromBaseType='TRUE' />
         var returnedNode = listService.UpdateList(listName ,properties,  newFields, null, null, version.Value);

              Handling concurrency conflicts in LINQ to SQL        

    Apologies for the delay in getting this post out, been busy and been playing around with too many good things lately. Virtual machines, Unit Testing etc, recording some radio from the net etc. Anyways, I have been planning to write about my experiences with Conflict handling in Linq2Sql, what happens when two users want to update the infamous Product table in Northwind.

    When I started playing around with it I also discovered that I needed to investigate a bit more about DataContexts, so I went reading around the web to gather info, did some experiments in my machine etc and interestingly enough I had a very related question at work where a colleague asked about the what are best practises when instantiating them. He had a static DataContext to be shared amongst his data access for a particular entity. My opinion on this is that DataContexts are cheap and light to create and that creating them for a single unit of work I do say in my GetProductByID function should be good enough. I'll say that persisiting DataContexts would create a bit of an overhead when I think that it has to keep all the mappings and ObjectTracking etc ( mind due, you can turn off ObjectTracking if you are going to do read only..). Also DCxt are not thread safe so that's another big reason not to do that. But when I started Linqing2Sql I did entertain the idea of sharing my DataContext through a singleton. Hrmm.

    public voidTurnOffObjectTracking()
       var dal = newProductDataContext();
       // If you don't want to update stuff, don't track them.
    dal.ObjectTrackingEnabled = true;           
       Productprod = dal.Products.SingleOrDefault(a => a.ProductID == Guid.NewGuid());

    Let me not get sidetracked, it's 10:30pm and I want to go to sleep, back to our interleaving..

    First of all, let's recreate the case where <  1 users are updating a record and our sys throws up a smelly. But before I do that, let's keep in mind that DataContexts are neat, I mean sometimes too neat since some stuff happens behind the scenes kind of magic, but that maybe just me :-(

    For example, note how in the example below two products are obtained from the db and one of them is upated, and then without committing this change to storage, I get another instance of the same product, then I commit the original change and then compare the Products....

    public void Test_DataContext_Product_Independence()
        using (System.Transactions.TransactionScope scope = new System.Transactions.TransactionScope())
            var linq = new ProductDataContext();
            linq.Log = Console.Out;
            Guid productID = new Guid("50BD6DEB52C14D65BEC268957601EF25");
            // Get a Product with the ID as above
            Product product_1 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == productID);
            // check that the Prod Name is as expected..
            Assert.AreEqual("Tourtière", product_1.ProductName);
            // Update the Prod Name
            product_1.ProductName = "Côte de Tourtière";
            // Let's retrieve the product again, note that the update above has not been committed to the database
            Product product_2 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == productID);
            // Now commit!
            // Note that the new name of Product2...obtained from DataContext Memory, before I committed the change! neat!
            Assert.AreEqual("Côte de Tourtière", product_2.ProductName);               


    OK, so to simulate interleaving, we'll simulate the two users trying to update a record in the db. The record look like below

    ProductID / ProductName / UnitPrice

     455984DB-92DD-4BA4-87D7-91E4E2E5E00D    Camomile Tea    10.00    ....

    Now our two unsuspecting users are going to try to update the Product Name for this product

    public void RecreateInterleavingCondition()
        var user1DAL = new ProductDataContext();
        var user2DAL = new ProductDataContext();
        Guid pID = new Guid("455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d");
        Product user1Product = user1DAL.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
        user1Product.ProductName = "Royal Camomile Tea";
        Product user2Product = user2DAL.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
        user2Product.ProductName = "Royal Camomile Tigris Tea";

    Run the above results in: Conflict Exception!


    User1 retrieves our Product and changes the name to "Royal Camomile Tea", not Submitting the changes, now User2 gets in there, retrieves the record changes to "Royal Camomile Tigris Tea", but User1 submits his changes and then User2 submits her changes. End result Conflict!

    Now...How does LINQ to SQL handles it?

    L2SQL uses what is called Optimistic concurrency is based on the un-healthy assumption that db transactions won't conflict with other transactions, that basically the chances of two users at exactly the same time wont happen that often. The alternative is pessimistic concurrency, this is where users will retrieve a record from the database and hold a lock on that record/table to prevent other pesky users to change that, problem is that is not scalable at all, systems grew larger and records where locked for ages before the sys will release the handle on it, also the emergence of the Web, the demands of stateles apps made it totally unfeasible for the pessimistic model.

    LINQ to SQL uses Optimistic concurrency, what it does is that when updating a record, it checks the previous values of that record, it the values where unchanged, then is all good, otherwise it will complain and it will throw an exception and then you can handle it and choose how to handle the conflict.

    In effect, if you turn Log on when Updating a record, and see the query passed onto the db you'll see that all values will be passed in the WHERE clause to compare against the columns in your table, not only the ID for the record. See below for the updates we tried to do above. MSDN has a good article on LINQ to SQL and Optimistic conc here

    UPDATE [dbo].[Product]
    SET [ProductName] = @p5
    WHERE ([ProductID] = @p0) AND ([ProductName] = @p1) AND ([UnitPrice] = @p2) AND ([CategoryID] = @p3) AND ([CreatedDate] = @p4)
    -- @p0: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d]
    -- @p1: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Camomile Tea]
    -- @p2: Input Money (Size = 0; Prec = 19; Scale = 4) [10.0000]
    -- @p3: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [c9735b53-9c82-4f11-891a-8a53dc89565d]
    -- @p4: Input DateTime (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [17/04/2242 11:07:05 PM]
    -- @p5: Input VarChar (Size = 5; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Royal]

    Royal Tigris
    UPDATE [dbo].[Product]
    SET [ProductName] = @p5
    WHERE ([ProductID] = @p0) AND ([ProductName] = @p1) AND ([UnitPrice] = @p2) AND ([CategoryID] = @p3) AND ([CreatedDate] = @p4)
    -- @p0: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d]
    -- @p1: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Camomile Tea]
    -- @p2: Input Money (Size = 0; Prec = 19; Scale = 4) [10.0000]
    -- @p3: Input UniqueIdentifier (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [c9735b53-9c82-4f11-891a-8a53dc89565d]
    -- @p4: Input DateTime (Size = 0; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [17/04/2242 11:07:05 PM]
    -- @p5: Input VarChar (Size = 12; Prec = 0; Scale = 0) [Royal Tigris]

    DataContext implements Optimistic by default, but you can turn it off, imagine that it passed lots of parameters, this will certainly cause performance dramas or you simply could streamline it. You can fix your mappings with the UpdateCheck attribute. More info check MSDN article here and here

    Ok, so the above will throw an exception when the Update query cannot find a match, it will interpret this as "oh, someone else got in first and changed something before I did! :-_(  , I'll throw a ChangeConflictException then..."

    The art of handling conflicts

    First of all, wrap your potentially conflict-causing code in a try/catch block and look out for a ChangeConflictException as below..

        // Here the values change!
        var result = new ProductDataContext();
        Product product13 = result.Products.Single(i => i.ProductID == pID);
    catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
    { ....

    Once you catch the exception, you have choices of how to handle the conflict by basically examining the guilty entities and members and choosing which values to keep, be it Database, overwriting database  values  or merging changes with the database. Let's have a look first at how to retrieve the conflicting data.

    DataContext objects have a property called ChangeConflicts thats gives you a ChangeConflictCollection of ObjectChangeConflict objects that eventually you can enumerate and then drill down and get at the values that are in conflict.

    catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
        foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
    Each ObjectChangeConflict object represents the conflicted instance, in plain english it encapsulates the update attempt that caused the conflict. 
    We can then iterate over the entities that "participated" in that conflict and get specific information about them. You do this by accessing the MemberConflicts collection of ObjectChangeConflict.
    catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
        foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
            foreach (MemberChangeConflict mcc in occ.MemberConflicts)
                Console.WriteLine("Original: " + mcc.OriginalValue);
                Console.WriteLine("Database value: " + mcc.DatabaseValue);
                Console.WriteLine("CurrentValue: " + mcc.CurrentValue);

    Here is where it starts to get juicy. See how above we can get the different values for a particular entity through the "stages" of the conflict. This information could be very useful, you might want to present this details to the user and let her make a decision of what to submit to the database in  a grid or something...right?

    But of course, you can explicitly resolve the conflicts by once the error is detected, choosing to keep current values, database values or merge. Let's have a look at it.

    Overwriting Database values

    First up we are going to solve the conflict by merging the database values with User1 only since User1 got in there last, he is the last committer (is there such a work in english?), User2 won't see anything since her changes when in and the Optimistic handling didn't detect any changes. So the conflict is a conflict from the context of User1, he created the conflict, he is the last in so he has to tell the database what to do with the changes..The database if it talked, it could ask the question.."oh..you are last in...what do you we do with your changes...", That's the way I see it. :-)  Shut up and show me code please ... thanks.

    public void CheckProductNamesWithTwoDataContexts()
        var linq = new ProductDataContext();
        var linq_2 = new ProductDataContext();
        Guid pID  = new Guid("455984db-92dd-4ba4-87d7-91e4e2e5e00d");
        Product p1 = linq.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID );
        p1.ProductName = "Red Tea";
        p1.CategoryID = new Guid("00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000");
        Product p2 = linq_2.Products.Single(p => p.ProductID == pID);
        p2.ProductName = "Green Tea";
        p2.CategoryID = new Guid("90000000-1111-1111-1111-000000000000");
        p2.UnitPrice = 10.0M;
            var result = new ProductDataContext();
        catch (ChangeConflictException ex)
            foreach (ObjectChangeConflict occ in linq.ChangeConflicts)
                foreach (MemberChangeConflict mcc in occ.MemberConflicts)
                    Console.WriteLine("Original: " + mcc.OriginalValue);
                    Console.WriteLine("Database value: " + mcc.DatabaseValue);
                    Console.WriteLine("CurrentValue: " + mcc.CurrentValue);

    Quite a lengthy function yeah, but let's see what happens. User1 retrieved the Product, changed the name and the CategoryID, User2 changed the name, CategoryID and UnitPrice. Now note that I called ResolveAll of the ChangeConflict fame from our DataContext, in this case I called it linq. ( You can also call ObjectChangeConflict's Resolve function) This function takes an enum that could be KeepCurrentValues, KeepChanges and OverwriteCurrentValues. In this case we use KeepCurrentChanges, which means we'll keep our changes for the data that clashed with User2, anything else that User2 changed will be ignored and the database defaults will be reinstated. I suppose the way to interpret it is KeepCurrentValues keeps the current values in the DataContext, in this case User1. Note: Make sure once you handle the exception any way you see fit, make sure you SubmitChanges() again for that DataContext otherwise nothing will happen! :-)

    Also note that you can choose also when to handle the exceptions. Say you have a lot of changes that the user made and it will be too cumbersome for them to re-enter all those values again. Since SubmitChanges accumulates all conflicts in a batch, the number of changes could be huge.. Good news is that SubmitChanges() can be overloaded to take a ConflictMode enum that will either tell the instance of DataContext to either throw the ConflictException as soon as it detects it (thus minimising the potential hassles for users) called FailOnFirstConflict, or to keep accumulating and attempting to update data and then report the whole lot (ContinueOnConflict).

      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
    Database row (originally) Camomile Tea E1422E86-.... 0.00
    User 1 Red Tea  Guid.Empty  
    User 2 Green Trea Guid.NewGuid 10

    Result is:

      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
    database RedTea Guid.Empty 0.00

    Note that User1 values went it , User2 data was thrown out and even though in UnitPrice there wasn't a clash between the users, the database value was the chosen one!

    Retaining Database values

    This is in fact the opposite as our previous example, User2 values are merged with the database and User1's values are chucked out of the window. Basically User1 says, "I'll let the other guy's values go through..I'll comeback to it again and see where my data fits with hers..". The term OverwriteCurrentValues, the way I interpret it that is read from the point of view of User1, "Overwrite my current values, therefore since User2 has committed and are in the db, keep them..".  This is achieved by using:


    Table please...

      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
    Database Camomile E1422E86 0.00
    User1 Red Tea Guid.Empty  
    User2 Green Tea NewGuid 10.0
      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
      Green Tea NewID 10.0

    Merging Conflicts with Database values

    Using ResolveAll(RefreshMode.KeepChanges) means keeps all the changes in the DataContext and merge them with the database, overwritting the row values if necessary.

      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
    Database Camomile E1422E86 0.00
    User1 Red Tea    
    User2 Green Tea NewGuid 10.0

    The results are as expected, User1 keeps his Red Tea, and User2 keep hers NewGuid and UnitPrice, in effect the merging has been "between" the users only.

      ProductName CategoryID UnitPrice
      Red Tea NewID 10.0


    Apologies for the delay in getting this one out, I have been busy and I was writing this up when we noted our beautiful and very lively ( and vicious) pet parrot passed away last Thursday night.  Very sad and it all was all of a sudden. I hope the poor fella didn't suffer and I certainly miss his singing in the mornings. Lesson learned though, birds should be free and while they are very entertaining I don't think is fair to keep them [birds] inside for our selfish gratification.

    I certainly enjoyed writing this post and playing around with the DataContext, generating errors etc. There is ton of info on this in MSDN, I certainly think the guys have done a great job in documenting Conflict resolution in LINQ to SQL.

    Place for you to start would be:


              Comment on Strong Woman Do Bong-Soon by Novel Siregar        
    maaf min masih ada engga link google drivenya min biar downloadnya cepet hehe
              belorys_kh: Победители Comedy Pet Photography Awards 2017        

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    Comedy Pet Photography Awards прошёл впервые и привлёк 2500 забавных снимков домашних питомцев. Предлагаем ознакомиться с работами финалистов. Среди них есть даже снимок танцующего волка.

    Победители Comedy Pet Photography Awards 2017

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    Pentas yang telah disiapkan. Tahniah.
    Karpet sedang dipasang oleh anggota kerja
    VP, Tuan Haji Hussin turut melawat
    Kerja-kerja pada peringkat awal.

              ÐšÐ¾Ð¼ÐµÐ½Ñ‚ар на slika од стране KizLianiaDunk        
    great site podrumvina.com. Offtopic: DDo you like the new Tarantino film "Django Unchained"?" family pet clinic menomonee falls flomax 0.4mg price drug testing amphetamines
              Saturday morning        

    It is Saturday morning, yes? I never know.

    This has long been one of my favorite songs; a true classic. No matter where I've been in my life, it has resonated with me. Ever since I first heard it in the restlessness and rebellion of my youth and even today as I teeter on the precipice of a revolution.

    I've got what I believe to be the flu, and what I know to be a carpet that needs vacuuming and a cat box or three that need scooping. I've also got a far more riveting piece of work in my drafts folder and some checks that need writing on my desk. I'm drinking my second mug of coffee, it's poorly pressed and grinds are settling in rings at incremental stages along the innards of my mug. I sip and swirl, sip and swirl and wonder if I should just abandon it for the perfectly brewed beer that sits in the fridge.

    I'm missing a partner this morning, I don't have anything particularly profound to say, and I'm not necessarily in need of a hug, but it'd be nice to have someone on the receiving end of my rhythmic keyboard rappings and rather unpleasant cough. No, I'm not lonely, but the oneness of this Saturday morning is jarring.


              Inspirerande balkonger i "Årets Balkong"        

    Nu sÃ¥ - Nu blir det Utlottning/Tävling av pillett till Nordiska TrädgÃ¥rdar 11-14 april. Dragning om tre dagar, alltsÃ¥ pÃ¥ lördag den 6:e

    Att göra för dig:
    Skriv en kommentar där du ger ditt allraste bästaste tips på något som har med Balkonglivet att göra.
    Var kreativ, och tänk på att allt som är självklart för dig - kan vara bästa tipset till någon som "Inte får ihop det"...! Tänk balkongodling, balkongmys, balkongmatplats, effektivt yt-utnyttjande... mm... mm.

    OBS... PÃ¥ lördag drar jag tvÃ¥ som vinner varsin pillett, och dÃ¥ mÃ¥ste jag komma i kontakt med vinnarna senast pÃ¥ söndag för att hinna posta... nästa vecka mÃ¥ste jag jobba hÃ¥rt med förberedelser till Min Balkong..:-) 


    Här följer text som är klippt ur ett nyhetsbrev från Nordiska angående Balkongbidragen:
    Tycker du det är svårt att inreda din balkong och samtidigt ha plats för växter och örter? På mässan får du massor av inspiration. 14 kreatörer tolkar mässans tema ”Växtkraft” i årets balkongutställning. Här bjuds bland annat på lekfull växtkraft för barn, en renässansfest och Kraftkällan - en plats att hämta energi.
    I år tävlar inte mindre än 14 deltagare om priset ”Bästa balkong” på mässan. En jury bedömer balkongerna där huvudkriteriet är att ytan upplevs som just en balkong. Juryn tittar också på kreativitet och inspiration. Förutom jurypriset kan mässans besökare rösta på sin favoritbalkong. Jurypriset delas ut torsdagen den 11 april och besökarnas val tillkännages söndagen den 14 april.

    KulturträdgÃ¥rden Elisabeth Svalin Gunnarsson:  Det är serverat!

    Kreatörer: Elisabeth Svalin Gunnarsson och Karin Svenson HasslerÃ¥s.
    Beskrivning: Ã„tbart och njutbart frÃ¥n mingel till dessert. Ett vilorum med tilltugg som stimulerar bÃ¥de ögon och gom.
    Sponsorer: Lindesbergskrukan, KULLAGÅRDEN svets & smide
    Monternummer: A36:30

    Viola TrArk Lena Bergene: Vem bor här?

     Här bor jag. Jag gillar växter och att odla upp dem frÃ¥n början för att se hur stora de kan bli! Under tiden de växer gör jag annat. Jag är kreativ och gör vad jag kan utav det jag redan har. Om jag saknar nÃ¥got sÃ¥ köper jag det jag behöver begagnat eller hittar det i ladan. Min katt gillar ocksÃ¥ blommor. Inspiration samlar jag pÃ¥ mig frÃ¥n hela världen, resor, foton, mÃ¥lningar osv. Jag älskar växter men satsar mer pÃ¥ att njuta stunden bland dem än att skapa den perfekta platsen till utseendet. Det fÃ¥r gärna vara lite stökigt, en röra om man sÃ¥ vill men det är i röran som ordningen finns. Titta runt sÃ¥ ser du den ocksÃ¥. Här sitter jag pÃ¥ min favoritplats, i pappas röda stol och funderar kring livets underfundigheter. Undrar hur hög den där solrosen kommer att bli i Ã¥r egentligen. Allt borde i och för sig bli bättre med tanke pÃ¥ förra Ã¥rets växtsäsong… jaja.
    Sponsorer: -

    STOCKSUND Garden Design: In My Green Zone

      Jag har inspirerats av den kraft jag fÃ¥r frÃ¥n naturen.
    En liten koja i skogen bakom ladan var min favoritplats som barn. Där tillbringade jag många fantasifulla och kreativa stunder tillsammans med lillebror - och våra tjocka katter var motvilligt "de busiga barnen". Min barndom i skogslandskapet har påverkat mig mycket och jag brukar beskriva mig som att "jag står med båda fötterna tryggt i mossan...".
    I mitt yrke har jag ett avslappnat förhållningssätt till begreppet "trädgård", där normen har blivit ensidig och ofta lite ängslig. Ordet "trädgård" är fortfarande synonymt med "gräsmatta med raka häckar" för många människor.
    Mitt bidrag är en hyllning till  vÃ¥ra gröna omgivningar, den orörda naturen,  som pÃ¥verkar oss pÃ¥ sÃ¥ mÃ¥nga plan. Jag vill inspirera och uppgradera naturen till en trädgÃ¥rdsform som är möjlig även pÃ¥ en balkong, ocksÃ¥ pÃ¥ en mörk eller blÃ¥sig norrbalkong.
    Grönt är inte bara skönt utan livsviktigt – både för magen och för vårt välmående. Jag har försökt skapa en odlingsbalkong där du kan känna närhet till trädgårdens ursprung – Moder Natur.
    Sponsorer: Cranberry Corner Inredning, Konstgräsexperten, Garden Flow Shop
    Monternummer: A36:32

    Uterummets Trädgård Linda Schilén: Trigga alla sinnen
     Alla bär vi pÃ¥ en mullrande kreativ växtkraft som bara väntar pÃ¥ att fÃ¥ komma ut om vÃ¥ren! Med min balkong vill jag slÃ¥ ett slag för den kraften, en växtkraft som triggar alla sinnen. När kreativiteten tar tag finns inga gränser, allt är möjligt, allt är lustfyllt! SÃ¥ odla och dräll jord pÃ¥ matbordet, höj musiken pÃ¥ radion, sÃ¥ fröer som blir till vackra vildblommor, plocka sedan fram staffliet och mÃ¥la av dem eller hoppa upp pÃ¥ gungan och känn hur hÃ¥ret och hur tankarna flyger. Odla i stort som smÃ¥tt, i bildäck och kapsyler, bara du odlar! Och kom ihÃ¥g ”Gardening is cheaper than therapy, and you get tomatoes, som nÃ¥gon sa.
    Sponsorer: Blomsterlandet, TrädgÃ¥rdsbyggarna Nacka, RÃ¥sunda Varuhus
    Monternummer: A36:33

    Torvan TrädgÃ¥rd: Växtentusiastens lilla torva
    Beskrivning: Här finns inspiration för dig som brinner för odling. Kanske har du hittat en ny fullständigt uppslukande hobby, eller kanske är du en entusiast som av nÃ¥gon anledning mÃ¥ste lämna din gamla trädgÃ¥rd.
    Utnyttja din balkong för att skapa en trädgård på en liten yta, eller ta med dig din trädgård till ditt nya hem! Här på torvan är arbetet och pysslandet med växterna det huvudsakliga och det som står för avkoppling och vila för kropp och själ.
    Sponsorer: KullagÃ¥rden Svets &Smide
    Monternummer: A36:34

    Uppdrag Trädgård: 1 balkong o. kök

     Välkommen till dessa välplanerade 10 m² med underbar utsikt.
    Lugnt och vackert beläget i trivsamt område. Öppen planlösning. Självdrag. Köket centralt placerat med en armslängd avstånd till angränsande hall, badrum, sovrum och arbetsyta. Enorma odlingsmöjligheter i söderläge. Här kan du skörda dina grönsaker och samtidigt njuta av blomsterprakt ifrån samtliga rum. Kommunalt regnvatten och avlopp anslutet. Enklare hygienfaciliteter. Kallhyra. Takhöjd 2,5 m. Stabil förening med god ekonomi. Visning den 11-14 april. Föranmälan till mäklaren. Välkommen!
    Sponsorer: ICA Bengtssons, Strängnäs. Gustafslund HandelsträdgÃ¥rd AB, Eskilstuna.
    Monternummer: A36:35

    TrädgÃ¥rdsinteriör Gävle AB: Plats att växa
    Beskrivning: TrädgÃ¥rdsinteriör välkomnar dig att stanna upp en stund och finna inspiration till ny växtkraft! Här vill vi lÃ¥ta alla sinnen ta del. LÃ¥t varje litet utrymme vara en plats för växter att gro och idéer och kreativitet att spira. När jordiga händer behöver en paus, slÃ¥ dig ner och lÃ¥t blicken vila pÃ¥ vattnet medans dina tankar fÃ¥r ro till tonerna av naturens musik - här finns plats att växa!
    Sponsorer: Hans Andersson Recycling AB, Plantagen, Sörby HandelsträdgÃ¥rd, Bee Urban, Alderholmens Svets och Service, , Garden Glory, Stikkan Design, KG Design, Colorama Gävle, Garden Aquatica
    Monternummer: A36:36

    Monika Langlet: Kolonistens längtan
    Beskrivning: Balkongen är kolonistens längtan till vÃ¥r och sommar. Den är full med förkultiverade växter som jag sätter i hinkar och burkar – perfekta att frakta i.
    Sponsorer: KoloniträdgÃ¥rdsförbundet
    Monternummer:  A38:30

    Janrik & CO AB: Kraftkällan

     Balkongen för dig som älskar att odla och som njuter av att se hur det spirar. Balkongen för dig som söker lugn och ro vissa dagar och brinner av odlingslusta andra. För dig som tycker att köksväxter är bland det vackraste som finns och njuter av att skörda nyttigt frÃ¥n egen odling.
    Här finns rum för allt. Pyssel och vila. En plats att hämta kraft och energi från helt enkelt
    Kraftkällan – en flexibel köksträdgård
    Odlingsskåp finns i olika typer, från enkla ställningar med plast till fina odlingsskåp i glas. Egen design.
    Odlingslådor på hjul underlättar pysslandet. Egen design.
    En arbetshörna med brädor på väggen utnyttjar höjden.
    Hylla i framkant är staplad och kan flyttas efter behov. Metallådorna från Granit.
    Trappstegshyllan är perfekt för mycket odling på liten yta. Egen design.
    Krukan Hexagon tillverkas av återvunnen aluminium. Från Byarums Bruk.
    En tidlös skönhet. Formgiven av Signe Persson-Melin.
    Stolar och tunnor från IKEA.
    Lampan Droppen från Zero av Thomas Sandell
    Monternummer: A38:31

    Johanna och Maja Strand Design: Lekfull Växtkraft

    Vi vill skapa ett rum för barnen, barnens balkong. Här vill vi ge barnen möjlighet att få leka, fantisera, utforska och lära om odling samt trädgårdens växtkraft och dess mångsidiga och färgstarka personlighet.
    Sponsorer: Bergh Fabrics, Designalamp, Rusta, Åry Trays
    Monternummer: A38:33

    Trädgårdsturisten och Pomeranshuset: Kardinalens fest i renässansträdgården

     Vi drömmer oss tillbaka i  trädgÃ¥rdshistorien och försöker Ã¥terskapa stämningen av en grönskande renässans-fest pÃ¥ en balkong i Stockholm. Vattnet porlar i grönskan, fÃ¥glarna kvittrar och maten är framdukad pÃ¥ det rustika stenbordet. Musik hörs frÃ¥n en av trädgÃ¥rdens terrasser.
     â€Det är sent pÃ¥ eftermiddagen. Siestan är över och kardinalens gäster tar en promenad i trädgÃ¥rden. Det är fortfarande hett men fontänerna skickar i väg svalkande vindpuffar. Värden förbereder en middagsbjudning i det fria. I stenbordets vattenränna ligger vin pÃ¥ kylning och kökspersonalen balanserar fat som dignar av italienska läckerheter; fasan med fyllning av granatäpplen, kronärtskockor och oliver av alla de slag.
    Så kan man kanske föreställa sig det ljuva livet en het sommardag i mitten av 1500-talet. Den unge kardinalen Giovanni Francesco Gambara har gäster på besök på sin lantegendom i Bagnaia norr om Rom, strax öster om Viterbo. Gambara var en kultiverad man som älskade naturen och trädgården var helt enligt tidens mode. Trädgården skulle förverkliga drömmen om antikens trädgårdar som en plats för fester, cermonier och skådespel.”
    Ur boken Italienska trädgårdar, kapitel om Villa Lante, av Ann Larås
    Sponsorer: Greenworks, Essunga plantskola, Betongparkett
    Monternummer: A38:34

    Ulrika Sommar: Ett rum att växa i 
    Beskrivning: Funktionellt inredd yta för att leva och njuta. Min balkong är nordiskt blond och funktionellt inredd.
    Jag ser människan som lever här som en modern, praktisk, livsnjutare med många järn i elden och stort socialt umgänge. Med glädje använder hon sin balkong för att njuta och odla sig själv, såväl som sina vänner och de växter hon valt för att det gör henne gott.
    Odlingen sker enkelt och vackert uppåt väggarna, och så småningom kommer det att bildas ett grönt rum. Spaljéer av enkla lärkribbor som stöd för passionsfruktens klängande rankor och murgröna som är vackert grön året runt. Ett litet doftandeträd i kruka och en örtagård i bordet får också plats.
    Inredningen består av platsbyggda bänkar, (en som drivbänk med plexiglas i locket) som både rymmer förvaring och plantering. En flyttbar ”persienn” av ribbat lärkträ som skydd för insyn, sol och vind.
    Bordsskivan hänger i krokar från taket och har en infälld låda för kryddväxter. Vågar du, och krokarna i taket håller, kan du sova här en varm natt, vaggad av vinden. Eller kroka av bordet och lägg dig på din sköna gräsmatta och gör några solhälsningar som livsbejakelse.
    En skötselfri trädgård kan man kalla den, då den har inbyggd bevattning, smart förvaring, hängande bordsskiva, odling uppåt väggarna med bra jorddjup, belyst av infälld LED belysning och en konstgräsmatta att spreta med tårna i.
    Här skulle jag trivas.
    Sponsorer: -

    Reese HandelsträdgÃ¥rd: Compact Garden
    Beskrivning: VÃ¥r balkong är ett ställe ”att vara på”. Här finns ro och vila efter en dag pÃ¥ jobbet. Du kan ta en god kopp kaffe eller äta middag med grönt frÃ¥n din egen balkongodling. Du kan tillgodose ditt behov att stoppa fingrarna i jorden, sÃ¥ och plantera i din lilla trädgÃ¥rd.
    Sponsorer: Mr Fredrik, Möbler och ting
    Monternummer: A38:36

    Svenska ModerÃ¥det: BLACK and WHITE

     En modern balkong där färgerna svart och vitt är i fokus.
    Petunia i färgen svart samplanteras med vita blomster och silverfärgade blad för en effektfull  kontrastverkan.
    Sponsorer: Black and White är ett samverkansprojekt mellan Svenska ModerÃ¥det och Mäster Grön, som stÃ¥r för växtmaterialet.
    SMD Design sponsrar med trädgÃ¥rdsmöbler och tyget Sofiero är ett mönster frÃ¥n sextiotalet i nytryck som tagits fram tillsammans med  Rydboholms Textil.
    Monternummer: A38:37

              Wishlust 5        
    Wishlust is where I will post a few books that are on my infinitely long wishlist. By infinitely long, I mean almost 600 books! Hopefully, you will find a book or two that seem interesting. =)

    Peak - Roland Smith
    After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he’s left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or to go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father’s renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit—and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it’s also one that could cost him his life.

    Geek Magnet - Kieran Scott
    Everybody loves KJ. Especially the geeks. See, KJ Miller is super nice, smart, pretty, the stage manager of her high school’s spring musical . . . and a total geek magnet. She’s like the geek pied piper of Washington High, drawing every socially clueless guy in a five-mile radius. If only Cameron, the hottest guy in school, would follow her around and worship her the way her entourage of dorks do. Enter Tama Gold, queen of the popular crowd, and solution to all of KJ’s problems. KJ is too nice, and the nice girl never gets the guy. Tama’s ready to help KJ get cruel, ditch the dorks, and win Cameron’s heart. But is KJ?

    Band Geek Love - Josie Bloss
    All band, all the time. That's how trumpet goddess Ellie Snow has made it to senior year. No drama, no dating. Just keeping lock-step within the safe precision of the Winslow Marching Band. She's a fierce section leader now, and so over the heart-crushing social disaster of her freshman year. No boy is going to ruin Ellie's shining moment-her senior solo performance at the homecoming game.

    And then Connor Higgins shows up. Not even Ellie can resist the trumpet player who could be a model for Abercrombie & Fitch. It's a hook-up made in band-geek heaven! But Ellie's not ready to publicize their romance, not even to her best friends. After all, Connor's just a sophomore. What would everyone say? Breaking formation and revealing her true self would be like . . . marching on the field completely naked!

    Then Ellie discovers the flipside of secrets and how it feels to be shut out by the ones she loves.
              Utbytesresa Jakobstad Finland        

    Jakobstad ligger i det svensk-finska omrÃ¥det i Finland och här och i Helsingfors bedrivs BarnträdgÃ¥rdslärarutbildning pÃ¥ svenska. Det bor cirka 300 000 personer i det svensk-finska omrÃ¥det.

    29/11 Första dagen välkomnades vi av Ann-Katrin Svensson med kollegor pÃ¥ campus Allegro, BarnträdgÃ¥rdslärarprogrammet. Det var en kreativ miljö med mÃ¥nga estetiska yrkesutbildningar utöver barnträdgÃ¥rdslärarprogrammet. 

    När vi anlände till campus blev vi visade runt i barnträdgårdslärarprogrammets lokaler och bekantade oss med personalen. Under en gemensam middag på kvällen började vi utbyta erfarenheter kring våra respektive utbildningar.

    30/11 Ann-Katrin hämtade upp oss tidigt på morgonen för studiebesök på Museivägens förskola (förskoleklass). Vi mottogs av föreståndaren som berättade om verksamheten och svarade på våra frågor om bland annat förskoleverksamheten, det finska förskolesystemet och barnträgårdslärares uppdrag och arbetsvillkor. På förskolan fanns också fritidsverksamhet som kallades ”morris” respektive ”eftis”.

    Därefter besökte vi SprÃ¥kbadsskolan, där barn frÃ¥n 6-16 Ã¥r gÃ¥r. Här blev vi visade runt av en av lärarna och fick ocksÃ¥ information om sprÃ¥kbadet och skolan av rektor. SprÃ¥kbadet handlar om att finsktalande barn ska lära sig svenska och svensktalande barn ska lära sig finska för att bli flersprÃ¥kiga. Det fanns förskoleklassgrupper med svenska respektive finska som modersmÃ¥l. SprÃ¥kbadet bestod av att lärarna som arbetade i gruppen med svensktalande barn bara talade finska medan lärarna som arbetade i den finsktalande gruppen bara talade svenska under förskoledagen.  

    PÃ¥ eftermiddagen utbytte vi erfarenheter med lärarna pÃ¥ BarnträdgÃ¥rdslärar-utbildningen kring vÃ¥r förskollärarutbildning och deras barnträdgÃ¥rdslärarutbildning.  Ã„ven denna dag avslutades med gemensam middag där vi fortsatte att utbyta erfarenheter och diskuterade vÃ¥ra respektive utbildningar.

    1/12 Besök på barnträdgård för barn i åldern 3-5 år i Jacobstads äldsta stadsdel Skata. Barnträdgården var inrymd i ett hur från 1900-talets början. Där visades vi runt av föreståndaren som berättade om verksamheten och visade oss runt i lokalerna. Vi fick även en presentation av daghemsverksamhetens historia i Jacobstad.

    PÃ¥ eftermiddagen var vi pÃ¥ BarnträdgÃ¥rdslärarutbildningen och här fortsatte utbytet kring utbildningsinnehÃ¥ll, specifikt mot sprÃ¥k, matematik, digitala verktyg och självständiga arbeten, doktorandstudier och möjligheter till kommande lärarutbyte med mera. 


    Undervisningen i BarnträdgÃ¥rds-lärarprogrammet sker pÃ¥ svenska och merparten av kurslitteraturen är pÃ¥ svenska vilket ocksÃ¥ framgÃ¥r av innehÃ¥llet i bokskÃ¥pet pÃ¥ bilden ovan. 

    Dagen avslutades med gemensam middag och fortsatta samtal om utbildningarna och dess innehåll samt planering för ett fortsatt utbyte.

    2/12 Denna dag gjorde vi ett besök campus Allegros pälslärarutbildning. Det är en designutbildning som är unik i sitt slag i världen. 

    På kvällen deltog i vi i Ann-Katrin Svenssons professorsinstallation på Åbo akademi. Det var en mycket högtidlig installationsceremoni.

    /Lotta, Anna-Carin & Anita

              Slutligt och sammanfattande inlägg        

    London Business School, Rachel Madley, Senior Business Information Specialist berättar för oss om deras ILundervisning
    Det blev inte mer skrivit de sista dagarna pÃ¥ vÃ¥rt utbyte pÃ¥ grund av att det var bÃ¥de ont om tid och lite svajigt wifi, sÃ¥ jag tänkte nu göra ett sammanfattande inlägg och berätta om vÃ¥ra sista tvÃ¥ dagar  samt göra en sammanfattande "slutrapport."
    På Torsdag eftermiddag åkte vi upp till University of the Arts London (ual)Center Saint Martins, vilket var ett speciellt bibliotek! De hade bland annat ett mycket imponerande materialbibliotek! Där fanns allt från träbitar, plastbitar till tyg och färgprover och allt var referensmaterial som studenterna kunde gå och känna på och inspireras av i deras skapande.Jag hittade en mängd tygprover från bland annat Ludvig Svenssons.
    En liten rolig utställning de hade gjort bestod av allt möjligt som de hittat i återlämnade böcker. Se bilden nedan.

    Förmiddagen på fredagen, vår avslutande dag på utbytet besökte vi ett stort bibliotek på London School of Economics (LSE)
    De hade 10 000 studenter som enligt bibliotekarien Clive Wilson var de smartaste i hela Storbrittanien! (Jag såg på Wikipedia att celibriteter som Mick Jagger och Monica Levinsky (!) hade varit studenter här).

    Biblioteket var öppet 24 timmar om dygnet och det föranledde studenterna att använda saccosäckarna (längst ner på bilden nedan) som sovplatser.

    I mitten av det biblioteket var en stor trappa, där det ursprungligen varit en stor innergård.
    Det finns massor att berätta mer om vårt utbyte men sammanfattningsvis kan sägas att vi var alla fem mycket nöjda med utbytet. Vi fick massor av information om hur de jobbade och hur de tänkte samt hur det fungerade. Även det som INTE fungerade så bra. Vi utbytte erfarenheter och vi fick många frågor när vi presenterade våra bibliotek i ord och bilder, så de var mycket intresserade. Även utförlig information om Borås stad och Högskolan i stort fick de. De sa att de fick smak på att komma och hälsa på i skulpturstaden som aldrig sover, men som har "den late studenten" i form av Sean Henrys Catafalque.

    Vi hann naturligtvis lite god mat och musikaler i London och vissa av oss shoppade även på den lediga tiden på kvällarna.

    Vid datorn hemma i Borås igen
    Lena Wadell

              90lı yılların en unutulmaz 14 atari oyun        

    90lı yılların en unutulmaz 14 atari oyun

              Size biraz da top eleven token hilesi dışında bir şeylerden bahsetmek istedim. Bu yüzden bu yazıyı yazdım. 90 doğumlu biri oalrak 90 lı yıllarda en çok izlenen tv programlarını çizgi film olanlarından seçerek anlatmaya çalıştım. Umarım sıkılmadan okursunuz.
          Eminim herkes çocukluğunun çok eğlenceli geçtiğini düşünür. Ama yine de 90lı yıllarda çocuk olmak hiçbir şeye değişilmeyecek bir şey. Diğerlerinden daha mutlu olduk gibi gelir bana. Biz pokemoncuyduk. Bizden sonrakiler benim gözümde hep Dijimoncuydu. Hem onlar Tsubasa’yı da bilmiyorlarmış gibi gelirdi bana. “Onlar Winnie The Pooh, Teletubes izlesin bize Pokemonumuzu geri versinler, o kendini Charmender sanan ufak çocuk yüzünden hep bunlar.” derdik mahallede memleket meselelerinin çözerken. Cool Games de aşağıdaki oyunları bulabilirsiniz.
    Mino sakız çiğner, leblebi tozu yerken birbirimize içinde o,u,f harfi geçen kelimeler söyletmeye çalışırdık. Biz tehlikeli şiir okuyup dünyaya sataşmadık pek o zamanlar. Onun yerine pet bardakları iple bağlayıp telefon yaptık. Atari oynadık akşamları. Tabi her akşam pek mümkün olmazdı bu. Yok atari televizyonu bozarmış da, yok adaptörü her gün oynanırsa bozulurmuş da, yok bilmem ne gibi sebeplerden. Atariyi kurabildiğimiz zamanlarda sabahlara kadar oynasak doyamazdık. Neydi oynadığımız oyunlar saatlerce. İşte bu yazımızda aklımızda kalan en unutulmaz 14 oyundan bahsedeceğiz.
    Soccer Physics oyununu oynamak için linke tıklayınız.
    İki kişi oynanabilirdi bu oyun. Bombaları yerleştirip duvarları kırardık. Kırılan duvarlardan bombanın özelliklerini artıran güçlendiriciler çıkardı. Amaç duvarlardan birine gizlenmiş olan kapıyı bulup diğer bölüme geçmekti. Arada bir bombayla duvar arasında sıkışıp kalırdık. Tabi ölüm kaçınılmaz olurdu böyle zamanlarda.
    2.Battle Tank
    Buda iki kişiyle oynanabiliyordu. Hatta ilk bölümde haritayı kendi istediğin gibi yapabiliyordun. Tabi biz bilerek kalenin etrafını iki sıra çelikle örüp işi garantiye alırdık. Oyun başladığında amaç diğer kaleyi ele geçirmek yani patlatmaktı. Rakip tanklar sayı olarak üstün oluyorlardı. Çimenlerin altına saklanmış tanklar en tehlikelileriydi. Ansızın ölme riskiniz vardı. Vurduğunuz tanklardan güçlendiricileri alıp ekstra zırh, ya da zırh delme edinebiliyordunuz.
    1. Pacman
    Çok uyuz bir oyundu ama yine de vazgeçemezdik. Aslında kimse ikinci bölümüne geçememişti bu oyunun çevremde. Canavarlardan kaçıp yemleri bitirmeye çalışıyorduk. Güçlendirici yiyince de canavarları yiyebiliyorduk ama bir kaç saniye sonra tekrar doğuyordu şerefsiz canavarlar. Yeme sırası canavarlara geçiyordu.
    4.Hyper Olympic
    Olimpiyatları biz bu oyundan öğrendik. 110 metre engelli koşu, 100 metre koşu, uzun atlama, cirit atma hep bu oyun sayesinde kafamızda yer etti. Kapışmalar hep  doruk noktasındaydı.
    1. Circus
    At üstünde zıplamayı, ip üstünde maymunların üstünden zıplamayı, aslana eğer vurup yanan halkalardan geçmeyi, ipten ipe atlamayı sen öğrettin bize sevgili Circus. Her ne kadar hayatımız boyunca sirke gidememiş olsak da sayende gitmiş kadar olduk güzel oyun.
    1. Captain Tsubasa
    Pek futbola benzetemezdik Japonca yazılardan dolayı ama üstteki ufak dikdörtgen alandaki oyuncuların koşması falan çok güzel gelirdi o zamanlar. Penaltı olunca hangi tarafa atacağına karar verebiliyorduk. Kaleci uçup çıkarmazsa gol attık diye bağıra bağıra evi yıkardık.
    7.Duck Hunt
    Bu oyun tabancayla oynanıyordu. Öyle herkesin tabancası çalışmazdı. Çabuk bozulurdu. Çocuk oyunu derdik buna. Sanki kendimiz ne kadar büyümüşsek. Gülen bir köpek vardı bir de bu oyunda.
    1. Galaxian
    Sinek avlama oyunu sanıyordum ben bunu. Meğersem uzayda düşman uzay gemilerini vuruyormuşuz. 15 yaşıma gelene kadar da sinek avladığımı sanmıştım.
    1. Excite Bike
    Nintendo’nun oyunuydu bu da. Çok zevkliydi be. Hem kendi parkurunu kendin hazırlayabiliyordun hem de iki kişiyle de oynanabiliyordu.
    1. Tetris
    Bu tetris; ucuz game boylarda daha çok oynanırdı tabi ama ataride de oynamadık değil. Bir köşeyi ince hat halinde boş bırakıp şu 1x4lük parçayı az beklemedik biz de. Hey gidi günler be.
    1. Contra
    Bu oyun çok kaliteli gelirdi bize. Tek kasetteydi bu Contra. İlerlemeli falan bir de. O zamanlar kasetlerin üstünde 1001in1 yazdığından bir kasette tek oyun olunca çok karizmatik gelirdi.
    1. Lode Runner
    Sesi hala kulaklarımda. Çok uyuz edici bir ses çıkıyordu yürürken. Yikyikyikyik diye. Kumları toplayıp yukarıda merdiven açılıyordu. Oradan da üst bölüme geçiliyordu.
    Kabasakal her zaman ki gibi Safinaz’ı kaçırmıştır. Her bölümünde farklı yerdeki Safinaz Temel Reis için kalp, nota ya da merdiven parçası atıyordu. Ispanak yiyip Kabasakal’a yumruk attığında Kabasakal’dan bir süreliğine kurtulabiliyorduk.
    1. Süper Mario
    Mario herkesin kalbinde ayrı bir yeri olan kahraman olduğundan Mario’yu bir de benden dinlemeyin. Ä°yi oyunlar :)
    Bunların dışında Sports Heads Football oyununu a oynayabilirsiniz.

    flot urban tapet med nummerplader fra det store USA, giver en fed drengerøvs stemning.
              Harry Potter Books Spark Rise In Satanism Among Children        
    John William Waterhouse-Circe The Sorceress
    Much has been made about Harry Potter books regarding children and witchcraft...
    Story linked below
    Hand Baldung Grien- Witches- Woodcut 1508

    "LOCK HAVEN, PA—Ashley Daniels is as close as you can get to your typical 9-year-old American girl. A third-grader at Lock Haven Elementary School, she loves rollerblading, her pet hamsters Benny and Oreo, Britney Spears, and, of course, Harry Potter. Having breezed through the most recent Potter opus in just four days, Ashley is among the millions of children who have made Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire the fastest-selling book in publishing history."

    All of the Harry Potter books by J K Rowling can be found at your local independent bookstore or on the net from a worldwide indie by searching by author and/or title at Bookfinder or ADDALL.
              Taylor Swift and Brother Austin Pose in Matching Christmas Jammies        
    Taylor Swift fans are used to seeing the stunning singer show up to red carpet events in gorgeous, priceless couture gowns or looking decidedly retro yet equally fashionable in some of her videos. She always looks beautiful. But even with an enviable closet such as hers, Swift isn't above rocking a pair of matching, flannel Christmas PJs with her baby brother Austin. Continue reading…
              Publix Pet Coupons!        
    Click here to print some Publix coupons just for your pet!
              Free Things To Do In Polk County        

    Check out all the free things to do in Polk County this weekend!

    Dog Days of Summer - Downtown Lakeland - Fri: 6pm-9pm

    Aaron Carter in Concert - Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales - Fri: 7pm

    Movies in the Park - Lake Eva in Haines City - Fri: 8pm-10pm

    Tram Tour - Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland - Sat: 9am-11am

    Kids Workshop - Home Depot - Sat: 9am-12pm

    Pet Adoption Day - Downtown Lakeland - Sat: 10am-2pm
              Free Woolite Carpet Cleaner!        
    Walmart has Woolite Pet Carpet Cleaner with "Try Me Free" stickers on them! Just purchase, keep your receipt and mail it in with the rebate form attached to the bottle.
              No Such Thing as a Power Outage        
    I love it when the universe delivers an engraved, personal invitation to me to rant about a pet peeve.

    There is no such thing as a power "outage." It's a power failure. When the power fails, that's a power failure.

    Decades ago, power company public relations hacks fooled, lied, pressured and threatened newspapers into calling power failures "outages." Power "failure" sounded way too much like the truth: the power failed. The power company is not omnipotent; it can fail, and does fail - far too frequently. Can't have people thinking that. They might start wondering why they're paying way too much money for something that often fails.

    The power didn't "out," like a gay teenager. It failed. Fail, failed, failure. Failure, Failure, FAILURE.

    It's especially a power failure when the power fails more than 607,000 people in Kentucky - an all-time record for the state.

    The failure is not just of the utility companies, but also of the Public Service Commission, the General Assembly and the Governor, who all FAILED to prevent this catastrophe by forcing the utility companies to bury the power lines.

    Although many individuals and entitites share this failure, it remains a failure. A power failure.

    Do NOT let anyone get away with using the out-word.

    It's a power FAILURE.

    Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....
              Beautiful Barron The Whippet Needs Your Help!        

    I received an email this morning from Greytexploitations about a lovely little male whippet that is in urgent need of care. He was a rescue and was in a terrible state when he was picked up. He only has a few months left to live so if anyone out there can give him a comfortable home and the love he deserves during his last few months then please get in touch with Greyhound Gap at the number outlined below. Here is a little more information about Barron:

    Greyhound Gap - Barron only has a few months could you foster him? Bedlington x whippet boy.

    A couple of weeks ago we received a phonecall from Catherine a friend. She had heard about a 12 year old bedlington whippet boy who was currently in the care of another rescue. He had two huge growths one on his chest and one on his leg and their vets had stated they couldnt be operated on. Catherine wanted to see if Gap would be willing to take him on, get a second opinion and give him the back up needed. Of course we would. He moved to Catherine the next night.

    The lump on the leg was so huge that poor Barron couldnt get around properly or sit down comfortably but thankfully when he saw our vet they didnt feel there was any reason why it couldnt be removed especially as the boy was so uncomfortable. Barron had his operation and all was a success in fact the very next day he had to be stopped from bouncing around. However the vet felt that one of the lumps in particular looked decidedly nasty so was sent off for histology.

    Sadly the result wasnt what we wanted to hear and the beautiful Barron has Sarcoma and treatment isnt an option. We were all mortified as this little man so loves to play and enjoy his walks and is just so full of life.

    The vet feels at best that Barron has around 12mnths at the worst it could be as little as a few months. Catherine would love to keep him there but sadly although Barron is very tolerant of her male dogs they are not so tolerant of him especially the older yorkshire terrier boy. Barron is not cat friendly but is good with small dogs as you can tell.

    Catherine currently works so Barron is fine left during the day, greets you really enthusiastically on your return, he travels well in the car. He sleeps well over night, walks like a dream on the lead and has been off the lead also but is a little deaf bless him so can wonder too far. Once he realises this though he heads back to you.

    If you could find it in your heart to give Barron a special place to be for however long he has he will remain cared for medically by Greyhound Gap. We will continue to cover the cost of his veterinary treatment for the duration of his life.

    If you can help please email me or call me on 01782 544728

    Likewise if you feel you cant help Barron but would like to make a donation or help to sponsor his continued care please let me know or you can do it via the usual paypal chanel to greyhoundgap@yahoo.co.uk PLEASE MAKE A NOTE THAT ITS FOR BARRONS CARE. Thank you


              Christmas And Your Pet Greyhound: Perfect Presents        
    Hi all. Hope everyone's well and looking forward to the coming months now Christmas is well and truly on the way. I apologise for my absence from regular updates the past week. I've been rather ill and am just starting to feel human again now. I've noticed plenty of emails with news and updates in my inbox and I will get around to posting them in the next few days so bear with me...

    In the meantime, having been laying around and doing nothing for a few days, I've begun to look around for Christmas presents and found one of the best online pet stores ever! If you have a pet greyhound and want to buy your pooch a gift for Christmas then I would highly recommend it. Puchi Petwear is an amazing store. It's supposed to be a designer store but the prices are highly reasonable. Although it is a UK store, you can place orders from anywhere in the world for delivery. All of their products come in various sizes for the different sizes and breeds of dog so you could purchase gifts for any of your dogs there.

    Although I highly recommend checking out greyhound rescue centres for gifts like collars or merchandise for your family, this is the next best place to stop because the product range is huge and absolutely beautiful!

    ***If you work with or own a greyhound rescue or charity and have Christmas appeals or ranges of merchandise that you would like to advertise then please contact me. I'll be happy to post about them and link to your site in the coming weeks. This also includes any fundraisers etc because we all know how hard the credit crunch is hitting. Please email me.
              Application for Middle East Correspondent        

    On December 16, the Los Angeles Times posted an opening for a new Middle East Correspondent.
    The Los Angeles Times is looking for a seasoned reporter to cover the Middle East.

    This correspondent will anchor our coverage of the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria, as well as monitoring the turbulent progress of “democracy” in Egypt, North Africa and the Gulf. But more than that, we are looking for an accomplished writer who is capable of plunging into these ancient and dazzling cultures, capturing their mesmerizing variety, deep intellectual history, turbulent social upheaval and — from ISIS insurgents to entrenched dictators — their capability for brutish violence.

    The successful candidate will be the one who avoids the office and wanders the back roads; who will leave the others to tally the daily mayhem and bring us stories we will not have the power to forget.

    Fluency in Arabic is strongly preferred. Home base is negotiable. Please apply to Kim Murphy, assistant managing editor for foreign and national news.
    After a week of contemplation I finally decided to apply. Here's my Cover Letter. Please wish me luck!

    Dear Kim,

    I consider myself seasoned - well at least lightly seasoned- especially at the time of the holiday season, and so I thought why not: maybe I should apply to be the Middle East Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. What can I tell you - I have always loved living in the Middle East ever since my first visit to Damascus in 2003. I have travelled from Baghdad to Agrabah and everywhere in between over the last decade or so. Along the way I too have learned to put things like "democracy" in quotes. Sometimes I put it in double quotation marks because "democracy" that is imported can become an even more interesting version of ""democracy."" But that is neither here nor there. I too agree with you that the only thing really worth covering in this region - besides the contested debate over Hommus in my humble opinion - are the "ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria" and the "turbulent progress of democracy in Egypt, North Africa, and the Gulf." What better way to ensure that the readers of the Los Angeles Times have an in-depth understanding of the region than to ensure they only hear about those specific issues? However, I know you are looking for "more than that" from the new correspondent. An accomplished writer? Sure let's check that box. Capable of plunging into ancient and dazzling cultures? I have been known to take the plunge but only rarely dazzle. By the way normally when someone refers to ancient and dazzling, I don't really think of the Middle East but maybe Jack Nicholson. Nevertheless I feel you about this place. I too love its "mesmerizing variety" and "deep intellectual history", topics that are almost superfluously covered in the pages of the LA Times.

    Allow me at this point to pivot to what I think is my defining characteristic - and a key characteristic for anyone who writes about these Middle Eastern "dazzling cultures": my ability to understand "their capability for brutish violence." I know you are looking for a focus on ISIS insurgents and entrenched dictators but what about Jafar the sinister wicked Vizier? Or how about further afield, Scar and his brutish attack on Simba and Mufasa? Or Shere Khan - does anyone really understand why he went after Baloo? What caused him to choose violent extremism? I'm sorry, I digress. Getting back to the point: I am your man, your successful candidate. Just as the doctor ordered, I always avoid the office. I don't really wander the back roads - do you? What do you do there? Finally I wholeheartedly support your call: who needs to tally the mayhem when we can indulge on stories to give us the power to forget.

    Should you find my candidacy deserving, please be in touch with me and I will fly my carpet right over for an interview.



              Holly Hunter Red Carpet Jpg Minus        

    Holly Hunter - Holly Hunter Red Carpet Jpg Minus 286x500 85kb
    Opet jedna distinkcija: postoji kensho, trenutno prosvetljenje, da se malo "omirisi" beskraj, i ovo permanentno. Do kensha nije tesko stici, veruj mi. Moze i uz pomoc lakse tehnike od tantre. A zatim postoje razliciti putevi: put ljubavi je najbrzi, omah si tamo gde treba, samo se otvori.
              Trying To Think of A Blog Post Title Sucks        

    With the exception of turning around, walking away, and pretending I don’t love you, writing a book is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  I devote pretty much every hour of the day to writing the thing and as of right now I’ve only made a small dent in the final product.  The main problem is that I’m a perfectionist who reads through everything I write a thousand times to make sure I don’t mispell anything or have any tyops, which means it sometimes takes me hours to write a single paragraph.  But another big problem I’ve run into is that I can’t really make jokes about current events since the Trillion Man March won’t understand the references/they won’t be nearly as effective when the book comes out in a year.  For example, I can make a joke on my blog about Rashard Mendenhall dry-humping an accused rapist on national television, but I can’t put it in my book because it will be a completely irrelevant story in a year.  And of course, the last problem I’m having is the inability to link to awesome YouTubes in my book, which is something that makes up about 50% of my blog and 100% of the interesting parts of my blog.  I was under the impression that the book would be just as easy to write as the blog, but that was before I realized that it’s a completely different process that’s much more challenging and unlike anything I’ve done before.  Anyway, the point is that writing a book is more tedious and  mentally draining than my first marriage.

    This is why I’ve decided to put the blog on the backburner for awhile.  The way I see it, I can either stop doing my blog to focus on my book now, or I can ignore my book and realize six months from now that I’m screwed as a scramble to finish it (Before you ask, no, I’m not capable of writing both at the same time.  I’m a terrible at multitasking and I’m terrible at writing, so doing something that involves both doesn’t seem like a very good idea).  I know that the TMM isn’t thrilled with my decision, but I really do think it’s better than the alternative.  Besides, when my book comes out and you all buy at least ten copies (in the words of Latrell Spreewell, I’ve got a family to feed), this will be water under the bridge.  By then you’ll all be mad at me for talking about pubes too much or using the word “poopdick” too much in my book and you’ll completely forget about the time I didn’t write my blog for months.

    In the meantime, if you really are desperate to swim with The Shark and can’t fathom a life without my off-base and ignorant thoughts (judging from the bombardment of “what the hell happened to you” emails, many of you apparently are for whatever reason), you do have some options.  First of all, you can follow me on Twitter, where I routinely make fun of Daequan Cook and then get disappointed that nobody finds him as hilariously awesome as I do.  Yeah, I know – “Twitter is gay and is only for people with self-confidence issues who can’t figure out that nobody cares they’re having a muffin for breakfast.”  I can’t say I fully disagree.  But if you actually checked Twitter out you’d realize that as long as you don’t follow professional athletes, celebrities, or 16-year-old girls, you’ll most likely never see a dumb tweet about what someone is having for breakfast.  #jussayin

    The other option that you’ll have pretty soon (within the next month for sure) is the SharkWolf podcast that I’m starting with my BFF Andy Keller, who calls himself The Electric Wolf (yeah it’s a terrible nickname, but just go with it – you’ll hurt his feelings if you tell him how badly it sucks).  I can only imagine what’s going through some of your minds as you read that sentence so I figured I should just list what you’re thinking and address your thoughts right now.

    1. Didn’t you already have a podcast? And didn’t it kind of suck? 
      Yes I did and yes it did.  The biggest difference between my old podcast and the SharkWolf podcast is that I really just don’t give a s*** this time around.  With the old podcast, I tried too hard to be professional and not piss off the higher-ups at Ohio State, which ultimately made me kind of bland and uninteresting.  For the most part, the SharkWolf podcast will never have guests and will instead just be Keller and me discussing things like the strange hypothetical situations we always come up with (and probably tons of “would you rather…”).  Since I do this with him everyday anyway, it will be a lot more natural for me and won’t result in me trying way too hard to conduct an interesting interview with a guest and failing miserably.
    2. You’re turning into Simmons. 
      I see your point, but I promise you that I won’t end up being Simmons 2.0.  The truth is that I really don’t care about sports all that much, which is the primary reason why I want nothing to do with sportswriting.  My proof is that I dabbled in college basketball writing for ESPN a little bit, but I really wasn’t feeling it so I stopped.  I know it puts me in the minority, but sports are enjoyable for me only when I’m watching the actual games.  All the arguing and banter that goes on in between the games is exhausting and completely pointless to me.  It’s occasionally entertaining to watch other people do it (and argue about sports LOL), but I don’t really want to be a part of it.
    3. Yeah, but you’re still turning into Simmons. He took time off to write his book and now he podcasts more than he writes.
      I don’t know what to tell you.  It just makes sense to do it that way.  I’m not a good enough writer and there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to consistently write two different things.  Podcasting is a good way to let the Trillion Man March inside my brain without having to take huge chunks of time away from writing my book.  It makes sense and you know it.  As always, if you don’t like it, you can suck it.
    4. Podcasts suck.  I don’t have an hour and a half to take out of my life to listen to you talk.
      Like you, my pet peeve with podcasts is that they are always way too long.  This is why the SharkWolf podcast will aim for 30 minutes every time.  After all, you people have lives, and even if you don’t, your video games aren’t going to play themselves. We might go over 30 minutes every now and then, but that’s the goal. Just like I’ve told every girl I’ve ever dated: If you want longer, there are plenty of other options.

    So there it is.  Follow my ass on Twitter, listen to my ass on the SharkWolf podcast, or be SOL.  Those are your options.  If you have your heart set on only reading the blog, well I guess this is goodbye.  For now.  I’ll be back eventually, but maybe it’s best that we go on a little break and rekindle our love somewhere down the road.  After all, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of the high school/college chicks I’m Facebook friends with, it’s that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

    Your awesome YouTube is the video that everyone keeps asking me about.  Watch it first if you haven’t already and then meet me on the other side for my commentary.

    The concept for a video like this is a good idea (I say this because I proposed a similar idea to some OSU higher-ups while I was there, but it got shot down because they’re all jealous douchers), but the execution was terrible.  I don’t mean that the three guys blew it, because they made it as entertaining and funny as they possibly could have.  I mean that the song choice was awful and having them just sit there and sing while reading the lyrics was another poor choice.

    If I’m in charge of this thing, I get together five guys (three sitting down and two standing behind them) and have them sing “Tha Crossroads” by the Bone Thugs, but I don’t let them look at the lyrics.  Since they all know how the song goes, but nobody actually knows the words, I’d have them sing with hardass looks on their face while they basically just mumble the words.  I’d split the parts of the song up so that it mirrors the Bone Thug’s style of passing the baton and letting another guy take over the song every so often.  After the inevitably hilarious “bow bow bow bow bone bow bone bone” intro, the rest of the video would fall into place and would be equally awesome.  Just imagine Aaron Craft looking hard while mumbling about how tough ghetto life is, before letting Jon Diebler take over and struggle to tell us all about the homeys that he’s lost in the streets.  I say throw in Sullinger and Lighty, who are both great at playing along and would bring some over the top comedy, and then round it out with Will Buford, who would take the thing dead seriously and would make it that much funnier because he probably knows all the words. That’s an F’ing video. It would’ve taken 30 minutes longer to film this thing than it did to film the Miley Cyrus one, but it would have definitely been worth it because my idea would have been much, much better.  But alas, my suggestions always fall on deaf ears, which, interestingly enough,  is exactly what I have after listening to those guys sing.

    Proud To Be An American But Even Prouder To Be A Buckeye,

    Mark Titus

    Club Trillion Founder

              The Monsters of Christmas        


    BY SARAH ELIZABETH TROOP / 25 DEC 2Many of the ancient 

    pagan observances during midwinter have been transformed or forgotten by our modern society. If you look into the origins of traditions practiced around Christmas today, you might be surprised to discover that the Christmas pastimes you know so well are themselves teeming with the macabre and strange.
    However, in some countries where people have held fast to these ancient traditions, Christmas brings with it unthinkable terrors. For some, Christmas is a season filled with supernatural goings-on, ghosts, witches, magic, and especially monsters.
    article-imageall illustrations by Dylan Thuras
    Santa's European counterpart and earliest incarnation — Saint Nicholas â€” brings something other than just presents to your house. He brings along a demonic sidekick, Krampus. While the good children get gifts from Saint Nicholas, Krampus is given leave to mercilessly beat the naughty ones, shove them into his sack, and carry them promptly to Hell.  
    This macabre skeleton mare of Welsh tradition rises from the dead and wanders the streets with her attendants, who are also fresh from the grave, to remind the living of their existence. Mary Lwyd has only one goal in mind — to get into your house. To keep the zombie horse out, you must engage in a battle of wits… in rhyme no less, usually on New Year's Eve, where the undead mare is represented by a puppeteer parading a horse skull on a pole draped in white cloth. 
    In Italy, Russia, and parts of Eastern Europe, we encounter witches rooted in the fairy tale figure of Mother Holle who doles out punishments for the lazy, and riches for the hard working. In Italy she is known as La Befana and in Russia, Baboushka. Each January 6, she packs up and sets off on a broomstick to join the three kings who are also seeking the Christ Child. She searches every house and if she finds a child there, she leaves cookies and gifts behind. 
    On New Year's Eve, Perchta roams the earth rewarding those who are hard working and generous, and punishing the idle and greedy. Her punishment of choice involves slashing open your stomach so she may violently rip out your intestines, which are then replaced by straw, rocks, and garbage. The tradition of having goose for Christmas is sometimes linked to witches like Perchta, who is often depicted as having a goose foot, along with the belief that goose fat enabled witches to fly.
    In many places, such as Switzerland, Perchta rides with a throng of demonic-looking helpers — known as Straggele â€” who love to partake of the feast offerings left out for them on Christmas by people hoping for Perchta’s blessings of wealth and health in the new year. In some places, Straggele get to dole out the punishments themselves and aren’t terribly discerning as they rob all bad children and tear them to pieces in the air.
    A creature from Scandinavian folklore who bears a resemblance to a gnome and lives among the dead inside burial mounds, the Tomten acts as a caretaker, protector, and helper of the household, that is if you don't anger him. The Tomten has quite the temper and is known for driving people insane with his tricks or biting them. The bites — being poisonous — typically lead to death. You would be well advised to leave a gift of food out on Christmas Eve for this fellow. 
    In some German and Pennsylvannia Dutch communities, Belsnickel shows up a couple weeks before Christmas, filthy and dressed in rags and furs to beat the children who have misbehaved. As an 1872 Philadelphia newspaper recounted: ”Mr. Belsnickel [makes] his personal appearance dressed in skins or old clothes, his face black, a bell, a whip, and a pocket full of cakes or nuts; and either the cakes or the whip are bestowed upon those around…” Back in the 19th century it was popular for rowdy revelers to go "Belsnicking" and get drunk, vandalize the city, and play pranks. 
    Père Fouettard made his first appearance in 1150, when he and his wife lured a trio of young boys into their butcher shop so they could rob them. Fouettard slit their throats and butchered the children, placing their remains in a barrel. When Saint Nicholas discovered the crime, he resurrected the boys and punished Fouettard by forcing the butcher into his eternal service. Now, this villain appears alongside Saint Nicholas and dispenses coal and floggings to those who deserve them. 
    One of Iceland’s most renowned figures associated with Christmas — Gryla â€” is a giant troll who is in a perpetual bad mood due to her insatiable hunger… for children. Each Christmas, Gryla comes down from her mountain dwelling to hunt for naughty children. She places them in a sack and drags them back to her cave where she boils them alive for her favorite stew. Oh, and she has thirteen sons —the Yule Lads. 
    The thirteen sons of Gryla, the Yule Lads are each known for a particular habit or characteristic, much like the Disney version of Snow White's seven dwarves. Most of them are depicted as mischievous pranksters and petty criminals. Icelandic children are visited each night on the thirteen days leading up to Christmas by a different Yule Lad, including such charmers as:
    "Sheep Cote Clog," a peg-legged sheep fancier; "Gully Hawk" who hides out in ditches or gullies and waits for an opportune moment to run into the cow shed and lick the foam off the milk in the milking buckets; "Stubby" whose name denotes his stature as he is unusually short; "Spoon Licker," a licker and thief of spoons; "Pot Scraper" who is a petty thief of leftovers; "Bowl Licker" who hides under your bed and waits for you to absentmindedly put down your bowl so he can steal and yes, lick it; "Door Slammer" who slams doors all night; "Skyr Gobbler" who eats "skyr" yogurt; "Sausage Swiper" who steals sausage; "Window Peeper" who watches you from the windows; "Doorway Sniffer" who uses his incredibly large nose to sniff through doors to find bread; "Meat Hook" who always brings a hook along with him so he can steal meat; and "Candle Stealer" who follows children around so he can steal their candles, leaving them in the dark.
    The pet of both Gryla and The Yule Lads, the Yule Cat’s prey consists of both children and adults. Unlike the other Christmas monsters, this cat does not care about your misdeeds during the year. The only insurance against being torn apart and eaten by this giant feline is receiving an article of new clothing for Christmas. Shop wisely. 
    Illustrations by Dylan Thuras. 

    Find more about the horrors of Christmas on Sarah Elizabeth Troop's blog: A Scary Little Christmas.

              Carpenter Bee Removal        
    Carpenter bees are what an entomologist refers to as a solitary bee. This means that they do not live in colonies like the honeybee, which is considered a social bee. Although they do not live in a colony, it is not uncommon to find them living in close vicinity and at times, this can be a large number. Carpenter bees are thought to be docile insects, but the female of this specie can inflict painful stings. If you see a large number of carpet bees around it is important that you do a bee removal immediately.
              GWENT'S PRETTIEST PET: Don't miss today's special supplement        
    OUR Gwent’s Prettiest Pet competition received hundreds of entries, and you will be able to see pets that were entered in today's edition.
              The Not Golden Hopling        
    A couple days ago, I read this post over at Big Bear Butt's blog. I always enjoy BBB's posts, but this one particularly intrigued me. I had no idea there were hidden things in the Stormstout Brewery. I guess that means I suck at exploring. That's ok, I'm good at other things. But after reading the post, I absolutely had to go in this particular dungeon and try it out for myself. I had to wait until just now for that to happen. I've been busy, what do you want from me.

    As I zoned in the dungeon, I spoke to the lady standing right next to the portal and purchased five Ling-Ting's favourite tea. I waited until the dungeon was done, for all the bosses and trash packs to be cleared, and then I drank the tea and started looking.

    I soon found my first of 30 Golden Hopling. It took me about 15-20 minutes to find them all. (Only reason I know is because the debuff granted by the tea only lasts 5 minutes and I had to use at least three teas. Maybe more.) I don't know what that says about me. The last one was cleverly hidden behind Uncle Gao's bar, or whatever that is he's standing behind in the last room. About midway through, it occurred to me that it might have been a good idea to count the Hoplings I found in order to know how much more I needed. Heh.

    As soon as I got the achievement, I received some in-game mail!

    BoP, of course.
     And I had a new companion pet to add to my collection!

    How does searching for "hop" result in
    Celestial Dragon and Stinker? /boggles
    It's a blue quality humanoid pet, same model as the Feral Vermling, but in a different color. It was a very fun little "mini-game" and I wish Blizz put more of those things in game. Then again, maybe they do and I just don't know about them! This expansion is just full of surprises. 

              Thoughts on Patch 5.1        
    According to MMO-Champion, the Patch 5.1 is coming live this week (in a couple hours, really) and I wanted to highlight some things I'm excited about. Complete patch notes can be found here. My comments are in red. 

    •  Hunter I very rarely ever used Aspect of the Fox because I suck. I usually spam Arcane Shot when I'm moving, so this change is really awesome. 
       Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator)
      • The Tiger Power provided by Tiger Palm now reduces target armor by 30% with a single application and no longer stacks.
    Not a big change, but if the buff ever drops, it'll take 2 less GCDs to apply it back.

    Pet Battles
    • A new item has been introduced that can be used to upgrade the quality of Battle Pets: Battle-stones. I have some uncommon quality pets who are really happy about this. 
    • Pet Journal
      • Pets can now be filtered by name, type, rarity and level, and filters will remain in place each time the Pet Journal is viewed.
      • It is now possible to search locations in the Pet Journal. For example, searching “Westfall” will display all the Battle Pets that can be found in Westfall.
    • Battle Pet tooltips will now display whether a pet is owned, and how many pets of that type are owned.
    • Pet Quality is now displayed in battles, and will be visible on portraits, names and tooltips.
    • The level of battle pets in a zone can now be seen on the map, and it’s now possible to see the strength of wild pets relative to your team at a glance.
    Until now, I needed addons to do most of this. And have Warcraft Pets open on my second monitor. This will save a lot of time and effort!  

    Raids, Dungeons and Scenarios
    • Raid groups are no longer necessary to enter pre-Mists of Pandara raid dungeons. Enemies in these raids that previously required more than one player to defeat are now more easily dealt with by players battling alone.

    Wonder how much easier these raids will be. The fact that we won't need to bother friends or guildies to form a raid just to enter raids is a nice plus.

    These are only a portion of all the things that are coming tomorrow, so you should definitely read the complete patch notes. It's nice to be getting a patch so quickly after the new expansion's launch (almost exactly two months later, I think this might be a new record!) bringing so much quality of life improvements. 

    I'm a bit worried though that I didn't see anything about reputations in those patch notes. I thought I had read somewhere that with patch 5.1 were coming new items you could buy once you hit revered with a faction that made gaining rep on all your characters easier. Maybe I'm mistaken, or maybe I missed them. Either way, fingers crossed!

              A month later        
    It's been a little more than a month now that the Pandas have arrived. I thought it was time for a little recap of what I've been up to and how my characters are doing.

    Death Knight - 86  
    After Motes of Harmony to finish maxing Engineering. Also farming raw meats for cooking. Lately, mostly Raw crocolisk meat and Raw crab meat. Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby.

    Druid - 86 
    Pet battles! Doing daily inscription research to get all the glyphs. 8 to go.

    Hunter - 90 
    Tillers dailies. Enchanting and JC is maxed. Doing daily JC research for gem cuts. Doing some heroics and Raid Finder from time to time, but not focused on any particular end game activities.

    Mage - 87 
    Dedicated cook. Maxed out all six ways so she can make all available foods for all the family. Also maxed archaeology, but I'm waiting to be able to fly to work on it more. Maxed alchemy and tailoring. Didn't even start her daily cd's like Living Steel or Imperial Silk. Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby.

    Baby Mage (Alliance) and Monk (Horde) - Both 47
    Dungeon Finder. 

    Paladin - 87 
    Recently maxed Blacksmithing. Needs to hit 89 to start rep with the Klaxxi so she can get the Belt Buckle recipe.

    Priest - 85 
    Still in Orgrimmar. Occasionally goes to Pandaria to mine and pick flowers.

    Rogue - 86 
    Currently in Krasarang Wilds to finish Loremaster of Pandaria. Herbing and stabbing people right in the face.

    Shaman - 90 
    Harvesting Motes of Harmony every day. (The DK secretly hates her.) Does some fishing on the side when there are pools nearby. Skins every corpse she can get her hands on. Working on getting all the farmers to be her best friends.

    Warlock - 85 
    Bank alt still in Orgrimmar. Has a bunch of old mats in her bags and bank which I'm too lazy to sort and put on the AH.

    Warrior - 85
    Still in Orgrimmar, looking pretty. Disenchants some greens from time to time, when it's convenient.

    So I didn't get all that much done since the game was released. I've been mostly doing Tillers dailies, doing pet battles (and working on pet battle achivements. Gotta have them all!) and slowly leveling multiple characters instead of focusing on one at a time. I've rarely been this slow at getting my characters to max level. At the beginning of Cataclysm, it took me about two weeks to get five or six toons to 85. I'm really slacking off this time around. I'm also thinking about transferring a character over to Rexxar so my poor alliance mage can get some heirlooms, which will slow me down even more in the "get all the toons to 90" process, but that's fine. For the first time in years, I'm not rushing to be ready to raid, and it feels good. I can afford to slack off. I don't miss raiding all that much so far, and my trips in the Raid Finder haven't exactly been exciting. I'm not in love with the Mogu'shan Vaults, but I look forward to trying out other raids as they become available.

              What I've been up to        
    I have a cold, so my thoughts might be just a tad incoherent. So please just bear with me. 

    Alright, here goes.

    The shaman has been diligently doing her dailies every day ever since she hit 90 over a week ago. Although, she's only been working on two factions so far. She's been working on the Tillers since day 1, and she is now almost exalted with the farmers. She's got 12 spots available, and she's been gathering motes of harmony in  the hopes of someday being able to craft some gear for the hunter and/or rogue. Which brings me to the second faction, the Golden Lotus. You only need to reach honored to buy the leatherworking recipes, which is only a week worth of dailies. I didn't start those dailies until last Sunday though, so by next weekend, I should be done with them. And it's been a bit painful. I love the Tillers and the cooking dailies. I really do. Even when there are no untapped mobs available and that other people steal quest items right from under me. It's still fun. But the Golden Lotus dailies very much feel like a chore. There's just too many people there, being rude, stealing from each other, shoving mobs your way on purpose to make you die. And for a miserable 110 rep per quest. I can't wait to be done with it, and am very happy that I'm not raiding, because I know it would be a lot worse. Then again, maybe I just suck that much at elemental shamy and that's why I have no fun doing those quests. I'm not even doing heroics or scenarios or any of that with her. I do dailies, I mess around at the farm, and then I log on alts.

    The hunter has made good progress this week and is now level 89. She should hit 90 in a day or two, as I have almost a full level in rested XP. The dk is almost 86 just by farming motes of harmony for Engineering, as well as raw meats for my cooking needs. My mage is still sitting at 87 in Halfhill, only sometimes bothering to plant some seeds when needed for other characters' needs. I still want to get her to 90 at some point, if only to finish Archaeology and work on the Lorewalkers rep, but I just don't feel like playing her right now. I'm having way too much fun with the hunter finishing up the Pandaria Loremaster. I tamed a goat last night, and she is now my favourite pet of all.

    I also bought a yak mount from Uncle Bigpocket in
    Kun-Lai Summit. So adorable!
    I've also spent way too much time indulging in pet battles. I didn't think I'd like it so much, but it's surprisingly addictive and fun. It took me a while to pick my three favourite pets, but I'm pretty happy with my team.

    I'm terribad and haven't named them yet, but I find it hard to pick names. Chuck will remain Chuck, because he already has a name, duh, but the other two, I'm still trying to find the perfect name for them. Once I tried the pet battles, I looked up the achievements related to it, and decided that I must get them all! Yeah, that'll take a while. I've also made a list of all the pets I want to cage, and it's a pretty long list. But they're all so adorable. I don't think I'll ever get them all, or even reach 400 pets for the achievement, but I think I can make it to 250 easily.

    I haven't had so much to do in game in ages, and I'm really trying to take it slow to make it last as long as possible. And with all the things I want to get done, making it last a long time won't be a problem!

              Blæst tilbage pÃ¥ arbejde....        
    Det blev en blæsende afslutning på vores ferie og det er som om det slet ingen ende vil tage. Jeg syntes efterhånden vi fortjener noget stille og smukt august vejr. De fleste af billederne er taget i weekenden, da det ikke er let at fastholde nogen motiver idag.

    Endelig er den smukke Carl Nielsen sprunget ud, med sine kæmpe store blomster.

    De er så fine sammen med pileurt Black Field og hortensia limelight.

    Enkelte blomster tilbage i Giardina.

    New Dawn er forlængst klatret ud af sit stativ, og skøjter nu rundt i vinden.

    Vi tager da lige et enkelt billede mere af Carl.

    Rosenholm får også nogle gevaldige rusketure.

    Jeg er helt betaget af denne smukke lathyrus Nimbus.

    Igår fik jeg plukket den første store buket lathyrus ind til stuen, det er da luksus.

    Tre mørke buddeleja Black Night på rad og række, dækker godt af imod naboen, lige efter planen.

    På bagsiden af volden får de hjælp fra en lysere udgave.

    Al den megen regn og blæst, har resulteret i at de tunge blomster hoveder i den gamle hortensia er tynget helt ned.

    På afstand er det næsten lettere at se hvor stor den er.

    Jeg havde da helt glemt denne påskeklokke.

    Der er ikke mange blomster i det hvid/gule bed for øjeblikket. Der skal vist suppleres med lidt floks og andet som blomstrer i sensommeren.

    Der er dog lidt i blomst, havens eneste solhat i år er sprunget ud.

    Denne gamle hortensia som blev klippet helt ned og flyttet for et par år siden står også med blomster.

    Desværre nÃ¥ede lobelia Haspen Purple ikke, at springe ud inden ferien var over. Det er den sÃ¥ nu, men helt umulig at indfange i blæsten.

    Hestemynte Blaustrumpf.

     Tunge mørke skyer farer afsted forfulgt af en kraftig blæst som kaster nogle ret hidsige stød og smÃ¥ regnbyger af sig.
    Er det ikke snart på tide vi danser en sommervals og får sat gang i noget smukt stille og roligt sensommer vejr.

    Mange blæsende hilsner herfra :)
              Sommerstemning,-sol og sommerferie....        
    De sidste dage har sommerstemningen, solen og varmen virkelig ramt vores lille ferieparadis. Dagene bliver nydt sammen med vores datter og søn, som heldigvis havde tid til en endnu en lille sommerferie hjemme i Vestjylland, inden studier og job atter presser sig på. Det er en luksus, vi alle virkelig sætter pris på, efter at sønnen har boet i udlandet i flere år.

    De helt mørke buddeleja - black night er sprunget ud og sommerfuglene er hurtige til at indtage tagselvbordet.

    Det er disse vi har flest af.

    Bag volden er der næsten en hel allé af sommerfuglebuske.

    Et rigtigt dårligt billede af en sommerfugl, jeg ikke har set i haven før. Desværre var den hurtigt væk, så jeg fik kun dette elendige billede.

     De løg vi endnu ikke har spist os igennem ligger til tørre.

    Hvidløgs høsten har været overraskende god. De fire store hvidløg i kurven øverst til venstre i collagen, havde vi med hjem fra Malta sidst i februar. I mit billedarkiv kan jeg se, at de først kom i jorden midt i marts. Så det er da vildt imponerende, at de allerede nu er høstklare med store delte fed. Jeg plejer at sætte hvidløg om efteråret, men det er måske slet ikke nødvendigt.

    Der er efterhånden bar jord flere steder i højbedene. Her hvor der har været kartofler, fik jeg idag lagt en masse nye løg. Jeg ved godt at de ikke kan nå at blive til store løg, men jeg er også mest ude efter løgtoppene, som vi hakker og fryser ned til vinter. Det er som at tage en lille pose sommer ud af fryseren.

    Den megen regn har været hård ved roserne, så der var mange rådne knopper at dead-heade.

    New Dawn er helt upåvirket og blomstrer lystigt.

    Det samme gør Rosenholm i æbletræet.

    Den sidste blomst i Chopin for denne omgang.

    Dejligt med efternølere nu hvor flere roser holder pause. Her er det Burgundy Ice med årets første knopper.

    Carl Nielsen står også med de første knopper. De har næsten været druknet i perikon, så efter jeg fik klippet dem fri, er væksten kommet igang.

    Limelight flankeret af Carl Nielsen til begge sider.

    En enkelt blomsterstængel blev det til i agapanthus i år, så den skal vist gødes og forkæles til efteråret.

    Floks i flok.

    Pause ved vandstenen. Rosenholm og New Dawn kan anes i baggrunden.

    Jeg troede mine solhatte var forsvundet, men havde helt glemt denne, som blev sat i det hvid/gule bed sidste år. Hvis jeg husker rigtigt så bliver den ret så gul !!!

    Leucanthemum blev gnasket helt i bund af snegle først på sommeren, men er kommet stærkt igen.

    Lidt primula er der også i blomst.

    Blue angel.

    Jackmanii purpurea.     

    Fine hosta blomster.

    Der er ikke meget spændende i bedet bag drivhuset lige nu. Bedet er flottest først på sommeren hvor pæoner allium og digitalis domminerer bedet.

    En kraftig rengøring pynter da lidt på bedet.

    Hestemynte Blaustrumpf er jeg ret vild med.

    De voldsomme regnmængder i sidste uge var mere end det gamle højbed kunne klare. Planen er at lave nye til efteråret, så nu må vi se at få spist resten af kartoflerne inden de bliver helt blotlagt.

    Hov... det blev da vist et laaaangt indlæg. Blogindlæg minimalist bliver jeg vist aldrig :) især ikke når solen skinner.
    Sidst på eftermiddagen begyndte det at regne. Det er kun blevet til et par byger, så det er helt ok.

    Mange glade sommerhilsner herfra :)
              Sagornas och trollens gröna ö        
    Sagornas Island, ön som med vulkanisk kraft, sist av alla länder, lyckades tränga upp ur Nordatlanten, står fortfarande på tillväxt. Här möts motsättningar som mullrande vulkaner, hetvattenkällor och glaciärer.

    Islands inland är otillgängligt med vulkaniskt uppbyggda högplatåer och sterila lavafält. Träd finns knappt, bara en och annan fjällbjörk. Skogen har skövlats av båtbyggare men ivrig nyplantering pågår. Varenda trädgård med självaktning i Reykjavik är full av björk och gran.

    Vid Thingvallir är kontinentalsprickan mellan Nordamerika och Europa ett utflyktsmål.

    Landskapet är kargt men oändligt vackert. Grässlätter,
    vattendrag, hedmark med oansenliga fjällblommor och sammetsmjuk mossa möter turisten. Det är alldeles tydligt att månlandskapet står på tillväxt.

    Hetvattenkällorna är Islands stora tillgång. De värmer växthusen med öns grönsaksodlingar likaväl som över 90 procent av bostäderna. Dessutom bubblar de upp ur marken och blir till hälsosamma friluftsbad året om. Luftens medeltemperatur är 5 plusgrader, tack vare golfströmmen, så här blir sällan riktigt kallt men heller aldrig särskilt varmt.

    Vart femte Ã¥r eller sÃ¥ bjuder nÃ¥gon av öns 30 aktiva vulkaner pÃ¥ spekulativa skÃ¥despel. Mest känd är kanske Hekla – den största av dem alla - som genom Ã¥ren dÃ¥ och dÃ¥ - och senast Ã¥r 2000 - kastat glödande kol mot himlen och lÃ¥tit lavan välla ut över branterna. 

    Enligt sagorna var hon samlingsplatsen för häxor och raka vägen ner till helvetet. Undra på att hon skrämde de första bosättarna halvt från vettet. För dagens islänningar är hennes vredgade utbrott mest en sevärdhet. När hon väl har lugnat sig igen, kommer turisterna som förr att åka upp till bergets topp och beundra utsikten.

    Idag (2014/2015) sprider vulkanen Bardarbunga sina livsfarliga och av svavel doftande lavaströmmar över stora landomrÃ¥den. 

    2010 satte vulkanen Eyjafjallajökull stopp för flygtrafiken i hela Europa under en dryg vecka. 

    Fyrhjulsdrivet är ett måste på Island, där vägarna plötsligt bryts av steniga kullar,forsar och stora vattendrag.

    Islänningarna är stolta. De kan sina sagor och värnar sitt fornnordiska språk. Ungefär så här talade våra svenska vikingar för tusen år sedan. De har bosatt sig längs kusterna och de allra flesta bor i Reykjavik som är årets kulturhuvudstad. Så sent som på 70-talet byggdes Ringvägen som gör det möjligt att åka bil och buss runt ön.

    Huvudstaden är känd för sitt pulserande nöjesliv men det är framförallt vildmarken som lockar. Till Island kommer den som vill fiska lax och forell i älvarna eller ge sig ut i ”Obyggdir” på hästryggen eller med bil. En fyrhjulsdriven jeep är ett måste och en lokal bergsguide bakom ratten helt klart att föredra. Naturkrafterna på Island är ingenting för amatörer.

    De varma källorna vid Landmannalaugar bjuder pÃ¥ välgörande friluftsbad Ã¥ret om.

    Det vimlar av utflyktsmål. Bortom Hekla ligger Landmannalaugars varma källor med tillhörande camping. Härifrån utgår vandringsleder i

    bergstrakterna förbi storslagna naturformationer. Ingen bör missa ”turisternas gyllene triangel” - det stora vattenfallet Gullfoss, gejsrarna i Haukadalur och Thingvellir, där alltinget höll till och där Island för precis 1000 år sedan kristna

    Just här möts de nordamerikanska och europeiska kontinentalplattorna som varje år glider isär ytterligare några centimeter. Det är lätt att tappa andan. Thingvellir är en mäktig plats och kanske den vackraste av alla.

    Gejsern Stokkur ena minuten...
    ... Gejsern Stokkur några minuter senare

    Var femte minut sprutar gejsern Stockkur i hetvattenomrÃ¥det Geysir sitt kokheta vatten 25 meter upp i luften. 

    Ni har väl sett killen i tv-reklamen som kokar sitt ris i den. 

    Vattenkaskaden sjunker nämligen ner i sitt hål efter en stund för att fem minuter senare spruta upp igen.

    Men pröva inte det där med rispåsen, om du kommer dit någon gång. Det funkar inte.

    Vattenfallet Gullfoss eller Guldfallet i floden Hvitá på södra Island

    Islandair, som svarar för en imponerande del av landets BNP. Närmare info och länkar till arrangörer som säljer paketresor finns på internetadress: http://www.icelandair.se/

    Och i alla stenrösen bor allsköns väsen och  troll.
    Visa respekt!

    Statsskick: Republik 
    Yta: 103 000 km2 varav 11 procent är glaciärer
    Läge: Island ligger i Nordatlanten – i höjd med UmeÃ¥ – mellan New York och Moskva
    Huvudstad: Reykjavik
    Folkmängd: 275 000 varav 105 000 i Reykjavik
    Nationaldag: 17 juni
    Medeltemperatur: Minus 0,4 grader Celsius i januari och plus 11,2 i juli
    Ljus: Om sommaren är det ljust dygnet runt, om vintern bara nÃ¥gra timmar per dygn. Vinternatten kan emellertid lysas upp av norrsken.
    Vulkaner: Island har ca 200 postglaciära vulkaner varav 30 har utbrott i genomsnitt vart femte Ã¥r.
    Varma källor: Island har ca 250 geotermiska omrÃ¥den med varma källor. Vissa är gejsrar.
    SprÃ¥k: Isländska (danska och engelska)
    Religion: Luthersk men det finns även en katolsk församling i Reykjavik
    Valuta: Isländska kronor (100 SEK = 845 ISK)
    Tidsskillnad: en timma pÃ¥ vintern och tvÃ¥ timmar pÃ¥ sommaren. Under juni och juli är det ljust dygnet runt.
    NaturtillgÃ¥ngar: Fisk, vattenkraft, jordvärme, diatomit
    Export: fisk, skaldjur, fiskprodukter, aluminium, ferrosilikon, diatomit och fÃ¥rprodukter
    Bästa Ã¥rstid för turister: Sommaren

              Sol og sommer....        
     Sikke en fantastisk varm og solrig lørdag vi har nydt idag. Hele dagen er blevet brugt i haven pÃ¥ smÃ¥ hyggelige gøremÃ¥l og masser af pauser i solen :).

    Jeg fik klippet de sørgelige rester af pæonerne væk og midt i det hele dukkede denne perfekte Sarah Bernhardt frem, helt upåvirket af regn og blæst.

    Endelig en dag hvor det ikke blæste, så vi kunne få Rosenholm tilbage i træet hvor den hører hjemme.

    Blæsten havde revet den helt fri, men nu er den atter på plads og inden længe kommer der masser af blomster.

    Under træet blomstrer den skønne Hagley på et lavt stakit.

    I samme bed er der også fuld gang i stjerneskærm.

    Jeg syntes den lille dværglupin matcher de mørke alunrod perfekt. Det bliver fint når resten af dem springer ud.

    Jeg har også hvide som matcher de små fine cosmos Xanthos perfekt.

     Enlig valmue mod den blomstrende timian.

    Da vi var i Nordjylland faldt vi for disse herlige frøbasser. Vi glemte dog at købe dem, men heldigvis havde vi efterladt lidt familie deroppe, så idag kom svigerfar forbi med dem. Ovenikøbet som en gave...Tak svigerfar :)

    Nu sidder de og hygger ved vandbaljen og kan ta en dukkert når behovet opstår.

    Det ene af de to tårne med Giardina.


     New Dawn.

     Hækken blev klippet og de sidste frøplanter og dahlia kom i jorden. Der er ikke mange blomster endnu, men midt i billedet svæver en enkelt chokoladeblomst.

    Frøplanterne er helt anderledes i kronbladene end dem man køber i potter, men jeg er vild med den.

     Da Odyssey kom til haven, fik jeg den plantet midt i en violfrøstjerne. Heldigvis deles de fint om pladsen.

    Under en pause i solen kom jeg til at kigge på vores store græs, som efterhånden fylder en del. Tænkte at den trængte til at blive strammet lidt op, så manden var hurtig til at finde rionettet frem.

    En simpel ring blev lavet og jeg glæder mig allerede til næste gang plænen skal klippes.

    Hvid aconitum med store knopper.

     Det blev en god og udbytterig dag i haven, hvor der blev klippet og nusset om planterne. Et par besøg og masser af hygge var med til at gøre dagen perfekt :). I morgen ser det desværre ikke ud til at solen vil kigge frem, men der er ogsÃ¥ nok af gøremÃ¥l at kaste sig over indendørs.

    Mange solrige hilsner herfra :)

              Kiev väl värt att besöka i Öst...        
    Femmiljonersstaden Kiev mitt i det forna Tsarrysslands bördiga kornbod ligger grön och vacker vid floden Djnepr i norra Ukraina. De många kyrkornas guldkupoler närmast bländar den som flyger in i dagsljus och får landa på flygplatsen mitt i stan. Hit kom Rurik från Svitjod år 862 för att bli storfurste och grunda landet Rus.

    Den 105 meter höga grå stålstatyn Mother Motherland är lika påtaglig vid inflygningen till Kiev som Frihetsgudinnan är i New York. Hon vänder sig mot ärkefienden Tyskland där hon står bland de groteska krigsmonumenten i friluftsmuseet över ”The Great Patriotic War”.

    Svenska storfurstar

    Här skapade Rurik från Stockholmstrakten – Svitjod - Kievriket som kom att bli Rysslands vagga. I flera hundra år satt hans ättlingar på tronen. En av dem var Vladimir den Store (956-1015) som fick hjälp av de svenske bortom havet att inta Kiev. Så småningom tog han även Novgorod och bildade Gårdarike uppkallat efter sättet att bygga hus sammanbundna med staket och köksträdgårdar. Svenskarna kallades ruser – av Roslagen - vilket först gav namnet Rus och sedan Ryssland.

    Kyrkor, kyrkor, kyrkor
    Vladimir söp och syndade men gifte sig med en bysantinsk prinsessa och lät döpa sig. Så småningom blev han helgonförklarad efter att ha kristnat sitt Ryssland. I dag får han nöja sig med att stå staty i Kievs botaniska trädgård med utsikt över hamnen och McDonald’s.

    Vladimirs son, Jaroslav den Vise (978-1054), öppnade landet för grekiska präster, arkitekter, konstnärer och hantverkare som byggde hundratalas kyrkor i Kiev. Sedan Sovjetunionen föll 1991, har kyrkobyggandet tagit ny fart. Den blå Three Saints Church med guldkupoler och vackra väggmålningar är ett exempel på det.

    Svenska Ingegerd
    Jaroslav lät bygga en elva meter hög och flera kilometer lång jordvall kring staden. Tre portar ledde dit in varav den största, Golden Gate, numera är ett nyrestaurerat museum i stadens centrum.
    Jaroslav läste böcker, förbjöd blodshämnden och grundade skolor. Han byggde kyrkor, stiftade lagar, höll god kontakt med sina svenska anförvanter och gifte sig 1019 med Olof Skötkonungs dotter Ingegerd - Heliga Anna av Novgorod. Deras hov var fullt av svenska och norska vikingar. 

    Självständighetstorget Maidan

    Huvudgatan Khreschatyk Street

    Kiev då och nu
    I Grottklostret – Lavra Monastery - satt pÃ¥ Jaroslavs tid munken Nestor och plitade en krönika. Tack vare honom är Rysslands tidiga historia känd. Dagens Kiev är emellertid inte särskilt rysk. Atmosfären är som i Rom och varje hus är ett konstverk. Det är folkvimmel, restauranger, karioke pÃ¥ gatorna och välfyllda butiker som hÃ¥ller öppet till 22. 

    En vanlig turist ser ytterst lite av kriminalitet och korruption. Det är mest byråkratiskt krångel. Tullen tvingar på en försäkringar och rätt som det är blir ens dollar avfärdade som falska. Det är bara att knalla iväg till nästa växlingskontor. Men semesterbilderna kan framkallas för en krona styck på en timma om man håller sig med gammaldags film.

    En av Jaroslavs magnifika stadsportar, den så kallade Golden Gate

    Saint Andrews church och Saint Andrews hill med visning och försäljning av konsthantverk.

    Strävar mot Europa

    Ukrainarna gör allt för att bli européer. Nationalisterna beklagar än i dag att Karl XII förlorade slaget vid Poltava. Ukraina fick vänta länge på sin självständighet så mycket är ryskt. Stämplar till exempel. Till och med restaurangernas menyer har stämplar som försäkring för att maten ska hålla vad krögaren lovat. Menyerna är emellertid uteslutande på ukrainska, så utan tolk får man chansa. Det är bortsch, blini med smetana och belmeni – rödbetssoppa, pannkakor med sur grädde och kokta köttbitar i deg. En specialitet är köttgryta med sås och potatis som serveras het och god i keramikurna.

    Olesya Shovkoshitnaja

    Three Saints Church



    Jaroslav och Ingegerd lät bygga Sofiakatedralen med fem skepp och tretton kupoler år 1037. Vulkanutbrott och världskrig till trots är den fortfarande Kievs förnämsta byggnadsverk. Utanför samlas konstnärer och trubadurer och inne i katedralen står Jaroslavs sarkofag till allmän beskådan. För dubbel entréavgift går det bra att fotografera.


    Sevärt i Kiev
    Munken Nestors grottkloster är Kievs stora turistattraktion i dag. Området har flera kyrkor, museer och ett stort grottsystem med kapell och begravningsplatser för munkarna. Missa inte operahuset och konstmuseerna som är av världsklass eller Tjernobylmuseet om kärnkraftolyckan 1986. Bäst är Pirogovo, ett jättelikt friluftsmuseum med väderkvarnar, lanthus, träkyrkor och historiska miljöer som är väl värd en hel dagsutflykt.
    Monica Antonsson

    Pirogovo friluftsmuseum

    Kiev, huvudstad i Ukraina
    Statsskick: Republik
    Diktator efter upplösningen av Sovjetunionen: Leonid Kutjma (Kuchma)
    Yta: Ukraina är Europas näst största land på 603 700 km2.
    Folkmängd: 52 miljoner (73 % ukrainare och 22 % ryssar) varav drygt 5 miljoner bor i Kiev.
    Språk: ukrainska och ryska. Ytterst få talar språk som engelska eller tyska.
    Tolk: engelskspråkig tolk går att hyra för 10-20 dollar/dag.
    Tid: svensk plus en timma
    Religion: rysk ortodox och katolsk
    Valuta: Grivna eller hryvnja som infördes 1995
    Färdmedel: Tur och retur med flyg kostar cirka 4500 kronor. Det finns emellertid inget direktflyg från Sverige. Från Arlanda flyger vitryska Belavia som mellanlandar i Minsk. Ryska Aeroflot mellanlandar i Moskva och polska Lot i Warszawa. Båda krävde i somras övernattning i samband med mellanlandningarna men en ändring lär vara på gång.
    Biljetter: Boka resan minst två veckor i förväg. Annars kan priset bli det tredubbla.
    Hotell: Det är gott om hotell men välj ett i 70-dollarsklassen minst. Billiga hotell är inte att rekommendera.
    Tack: heter Diakuju

    Fakta: Majdan-protesterna

    November 2013: 
    Tiotusentals demonstranter samlas för att protestera mot att president Viktor Janukovytjs regering överger planerna på ett avtal med EU. Regeringen anklagas för att underordna sig Ryssland och för att vara korrupt. Ryssland erbjuder ett lån på 11 miljarder euro.

    Februari 2014: 
    Veckor av protester kulminerar under slutet av februari med minst 77 dödsoffer på Självständighetstorget (Majdan) i Kiev.
    21/2: Oppositionsledare och Janukovytj kommer överens om nyval.
    22/2: Janukovytj avsätts och tidigare premiärministern, Julia Tymosjenko, släpps från fängelset.
    23/2: Janukovytj försvinner spårlöst. Parlamentets talman Oleksandr Turtjunov väljs till tillfällig president. Nyval utlovas i maj.
    24/2: Janukovytj efterlyses för massmord. Den ryske premiärministern kallar de nya ledarna i Kiev för ”kalasjnikov-viftande personer i svarta masker”.
    25/5: Presidentval hålls och Petro Porosjenko blir vald till president.

              27 Ã¥r senare spyr reaktor 4 i Tjernobyl fortfarande ut sitt dödliga gift...        
    Idag är det 27 år sedan reaktor 4 i Tjernobyl exploderade och drabbades av en härdsmälta. Världens dittills värsta kärnkraftsolycka var ett faktum än i dag bara överträffad av katastrofen i Fukushima, Japan, 2011.
    Jag har besökt Zonen fem gånger och varit projektledare för Tjernobyls Barn / Novozybkov inom vilket vi bland annat renoverade ett BB - Änglagård - i den radioaktivt nedsmutsade staden Novozybkov i Ryssland. Följande berättelse härrör från en resa till Tjernobyl i Ukraina 2005.
    Rekator 4 i Tjernobyl
    Foto: Monica Antonsson

    Tjernobyl, Ukraina, 2005

    Den förbjudna zonen kring kärnkraftsverket i Tjernobyl börjar bli en inkomstkälla för Ukraina. Numera ordnas resor dit för den som vill se vad kärnkraftolyckan 1986 ställde till med. Omkring 1600 kronor kostar dagsutflykten från Kiev. Då ingår såväl transport som guide och en sexrätters lunch.
    Sergei backar upp minibussen på trottoaren utanför hotell Khreschatik på avtalad tid varpå vi några minuter senare kör iväg längs Kievs breda huvudgata. Min projektledarkollega Anders har bett att få se Tjernobyl så det är dit vi är på väg. Vid mina tidigare besök i zonen har vi fått trassla med tillstånden och skumpat fram på dåliga vägar i lika dåliga bilar körda av minst sagt tveksamma chaufförer. Nu åker vi i gräddfilen. Vi har ansökt om tillstånd hemifrån, angett vilka platser vi vill se och därefter fått turen arrangerad av den statliga Zonadministrationen. Det är en researrangör med rutin, visar det sig. Sergei kör varje dag politiker, vetenskapsmän, ornitologer, läkare, filmare, journalister och turister till Tjernobyl. Som engelsmannen Nick som är med oss i bilen.
    Ukrainska staten har börjat inse att det finns ett värde i denna radioaktiva olycksplats. Man fÃ¥r inte vara dum. Sergei visar foton frÃ¥n 1986 när han var likvidatör i Tjernobyl. Det innebär att han - frivilligt eller ofrivilligt – är en av de kanske 800 000 män och kvinnor som röjde upp efter olyckan. Som alla andra är han sjuk nu. Men köra bil gÃ¥r bra och han är glad över att ha ett jobb trots att han mÃ¥ste köra till Polissia-regionen och Tjernobyl varje dag.
    Sergei ler men ryser när han visar
    ett foto av sig och några kompisar
    från Tjernobyl 1986.
    Foto: Monica Antonsson

    Ingen återflyttning
    Färden går genom fattiga byar med böljande sädesfält där folk odlar sin mat precis som förr. Ingen vill höra talas om Cesium-137 och Strontium-90. Längs vägen går tanter som bär vattenhinkar från bybrunnen med ok över axlarna och farbröder som med pinnar föser kossor framför sig. Här och där sitter folk med nyplockad svamp i hinkar till försäljning. Kantarellerna är lika gula och vackra som Karl Johansvamparna är stora och väldoftande. Är det någon som tror att det är fritt från radioaktivitet utanför tremilszonen? Naturligtvis inte. Det är ungefär lika illa överallt. Gränsen om tre mils radie från kärnkraftsverket är satt på en höft för att man helt enkelt skulle ha en.
    Efter checkpoint 1 vid tremilsgränsen kör vi vidare mot den 800 år gamla staden Tjernobyl på 12 km avstånd från kärnkraftsverket. Vid stadsgränsen står stora betongfundament med ordet Tjernobyl på ryska. Ordet betyder malört vilket skrämmer befolkningen. I uppenbarelseboken i Bibeln nämns nämligen just malört som förebådande jordens undergång.
    Här i stan eller mer riktigt byn ligger zonadministrationen där Rimma Kiselitsa väntar. Hon är en av zonens tvÃ¥ professionella guider som tjänstgör 15 dagar i sträck och sedan är ledig lika länge. PÃ¥ plats i Tjernobyl övernattar hon i en evakueringslägenhet, som hon säger. De som arbetar här kan helt enkelt bara välja sig en övergiven bostad som de evakuerade lämnat efter sig. Sedan Ã¥ker hon hem till Tjernigov, den stad där hon bor som ocksÃ¥ är radioaktivt nedsmutsad.
    – Det finns ett hotell här i Tjernobyl, säger Rimma. Om ni vill stanna över natten.

    Cacersjuk pojke efter Tjernobylolyckan.
    Källa: Tjernobylmuseet i Kiev
    Rimma tar oss till tvÃ¥ livsmedelsaffärer, en bar, ett postkontor (där man kan betala med kort) och den bemannade brandstationen. Totalt 14 000 människor arbetar i zonen varav 3 800 pÃ¥ kärnkraftverket och resten med service och forskning. Här byggs just nu minst tvÃ¥ nya fabriker som ska ta hand om fast och flytande radioaktivt avfall. Av de 800 evakuerade som pÃ¥ eget bevÃ¥g Ã¥tervände till sina hem i zonen och som fanns här vid mitt första besök 1997 Ã¤r bara 380 kvar i livet. Ett hundratal bor i själva Tjernobyl som vid tiden för olyckan hade omkring 18 000 invÃ¥nare. NÃ¥gon organiserad Ã¥terinflyttning – som FN av nÃ¥gon oförklarlig anledning förordar! – pÃ¥gÃ¥r inte.
    - Är du tokig, säger Rimma. Området går inte att rena. Det är alldeles för stort. Vi har i snitt 20 heta partiklar per kvadratcentimeter. Kommer en sådan in i kroppen och fastnar i till exempel mjukdelar så är det adjöss.

    Missbildat foster efter
    Tjernobylmuseet i Kiev
    Rimmas chef brukar vara den som informerar besökare här. Han vet att jag är i Tjernobyl för fjärde gÃ¥ngen (officiellt tredje dÃ¥ jag togs in illegalt frÃ¥n Vitryssland första gÃ¥ngen) och orkar väl inte komma. Det blir därför Rimma som berättar för oss att kärnkraftsverket byggt pÃ¥ sovjettiden är uppkallat efter kamrat Vladimir Lenin och inte alls efter staden Tjernobyl som man skulle kunna tro. ”Kärnkraftsverket Lenin som arbetar för kommunismen” är den formella titeln men de flesta här säger kort och gott Leninverket.
    - Landgränsen mot Vitryssland går mitt i zonen, säger Rimma. Det komplicerar livet nu när Sovjetunionen inte längre finns. Många kärnkraftsarbetare bor i Slavoutich fem mil härifrån i Ukraina men Vitryssland går ner med en liten flik till floden Dnepr, så vi måste passera genom genom Vitryssland för att komma hem.

    Den nys kärnkraftsarbetarstaden Slavutich började byggas 1988 av åtta före detta sovjetrepubliker som kom med eget material och byggde varsitt kvarter vilket förklarar att stadsdelarna har namn som Baku, Azerbadjan, Vilnius och Moskva. Det är en vacker stad av hög standard om än radioaktivt nedsmutsad som allt annat.
    - Där bor omkring 25 000 människor, säger Rimma. Medelåldern är 27 år och 33 procent är barn. De får sällan besök av släkt och vänner. Efter att staden väl var byggd upptäcktes stora mängder av Strontium i området men det är dekontaminerat nu. Vårt speciella laboratorium kontrollerar bär och svamp i skogarna likaväl som vi varje år medicinskt undersöker arbetarna på kärnkraftsverket och alla andra som arbetar i zonen.

    Rimma har arbetat tio Ã¥r i zonen. Det innebär att hon har ett välbetalt jobb, militär rang och att hon fÃ¥tt användning för sin goda engelska. Civilt är hon ensam om att fostra sina tvÃ¥ barn. Hon litar pÃ¥ arbetsgivaren och är inte orolig för sin hälsa. Det är först när hon nÃ¥gra veckor senare besöker Sverige och fÃ¥r bo hos mig som hon fÃ¥r nya perspektiv och blir rejält omskakad. Det kan vi Ã¥terkomma till.
    Efter Tjernobylolyckan missbildad gris.
    Källa: Tjernobylmuseet i Kiev.
    Zonadministrationens uppgift är att hÃ¥lla reda pÃ¥ vad som händer i den drygt 2 600 kvadratkilometer stora zonen pÃ¥ den ukrainska sidan. NÃ¥got samarbete med Vitryssland finns inte. De skyddsÃ¥tgärder som lyckas i Ukraina kan saboteras i Vitryssland och tvärtom. Ingen vet vad som faktiskt händer i ett radioaktivt nedsmutsat omrÃ¥de och hur det pÃ¥verkar människan. Här pÃ¥gÃ¥r följaktligen mÃ¥nga, stora som smÃ¥ experiment. Administrationen hämtade exempelvis hit 20 mongoliska vildhästar 1998. De har förökat sig fint och är nu fler än 70. De ansvariga har koll fast fyra hästar är just nu pÃ¥ rymmen.

    - Vårt stora problem är flodbäddarna som består av hårt packad lera,
    säger Rimma. Kylvattnet som rinner där är mycket radioaktivt nedsmutsat med framför allt Cesium-137. Vi gör allt för att förhindra att det ska rinna ner i floden Pripjat. Hittills har vi lyckats.
    Det är svårt att tro henne på den punkten. Man har försökt förstärka flodbäddarna med stora betongblock men när gräs kan växa upp i skarvarna, så kan rimligtvis radioaktivt vatten strömma ut. Största problemet är smältvattnet om våren när floden svämmar över. Det behöver man inte vara kärnfysiker för att förstå.
    Efter olyckan missbildad kalv.
    Källa: Tjernobylmuseet i Kiev
    Det syns på Rimma att kylvattenkanalerna som ligger i öppen dager är ett stort problem. Bottensedimentet är svårt nedsmutsat och här kryllar av jättestora fiskar eftersom fiske är förbjudet och de blir långlivade. Men alla bryr sig inte. Många fiskar fast det är förbjudet. Det är kul och livgivande när det nappar.
    - Så vad ni än gör, säger Rimma. Köp ingenting ätbart längs vägarna!

    Hälften av zonen bestÃ¥r av pinjeskog som med förkärlek växer i torv och i den finns gaser som lätt kan självantändas. Skogsbränder är därför ett stort problem i Zonen. Dels för att de rör upp livsfarliga, radioaktiva partiklar och dels för att brandkÃ¥ren har svÃ¥rt att ta sig fram i igenvuxna törnrosaomrÃ¥den. Ofta mÃ¥ste bränderna släckas frÃ¥n luften.

    Utan skyddskläder
    Efter den korta informationen ger vi oss iväg igen och passerar checkpoint tvÃ¥ pÃ¥ tio kilometers avstÃ¥nd frÃ¥n kärnkraftverket. Här tar synligt mänskligt allt liv slut. Här bor ingen. Det är bara vindarna som hörs. Telefonstolparna och dess ledningar har för länge sedan fallit till marken. Vi passerar byar som var sÃ¥ radioaktiva att de helt enkelt grävdes ner. En rostig fabriksanläggning stÃ¥r som ett monument efter all betongtillverkning som utfördes där efter olyckan. Betongen användes till att blandat med bor täcka den brinnande reaktorns innanmäte. Av det steg Ã¥ngor med bly och radioaktiva partiklar mot skyn medan reaktorhärden bara blev varmare och varmare.

    Det första som dyker upp i synfältet är reaktor 5 och 6 som var under byggnad 1986. Femman var laddad men togs aldrig tas i drift.
    - Man tog delar från den för att laga reaktor tre efter olyckan, säger Rimma.
    Reaktor 7 och 8 var också planerade men byggdes aldrig. Totalt skulle Leninverket ha bestått av tolv reaktorer som tillsammans skulle ha producerat 1 miljon watt per timman.

    Längs vägen mot olycksplatsen löper ett stort dike brett som en flod med höggradigt radioaktivt kylvatten. Det är i här de stora fiskarna simmar. PÃ¥ andra sidan reser sig först det stora kyltornet och bortom det de fyra reaktorerna. Ettan stängdes pÃ¥ grund av en trasig generator. TvÃ¥an stängdes efter en explosion med brand i reaktorhallen 1992. De är sammanlänkade av en byggnad med ett ventilationstorn i mitten.
    Trean - som delvis också förstördes 1986 men som hölls i fortsatt drift tills den stängdes manuellt den 15 december 2000 - och den exploderade fyran är sammanbyggda med ett gemensamt kylsystem och ventilationstorn. Endast en sex meter tjock betongvägg – som Rimma säger byggdes efter olyckan - skiljer dem åt. Hur det gick till i den dödligt farliga miljön är svårt att förstå.

    Den sönderrostande sarkofagen i Tjernobyl 2005. För några månader sedan (2013) rasade delar av taket in
    Foto: Monica Antonsson
    - Robotarna misslyckades, säger hon. De slutade fungera på grund av strålningen. I stället skickade man in människor. Idag har vi robotar som går på kablar och inte på chips. Om man med det ska förstå att robotar med chips ännu inte fungerar i Tjernobyl framgår inte.
    Sarkofagen som täcker den havererade reaktor 4 är ett gammalt rostig vrak fullt av hÃ¥l motsvarande 250 kvadratmeter ur vilka strÃ¥lningen fortfarande strömmar rakt ut i luften. Vem som helst kan se att sarkofagen hÃ¥ller pÃ¥ att rasa ihop. Rimma ser till att vi inte fotograferar de värsta delarna av konstruktionen. Det är heller inte tillÃ¥tet att fotografera kärnkraftsverkets entré där Lenin välkända huvud stÃ¥r pÃ¥ pass i form av en jättelik staty. Rimma protesterar förtvivlat mot att en och annan bild ändÃ¥ knäpps mot omgivningarna till vänster om entrén.
    - Du kan bli arresterad, säger hon med en gest mot byggnadens svarta fönster. Någon kan se dig.
    Nick, Rimma, undertecknad och Julia
    Foto: Anders Rönnholm
    Rimma berättar om strÃ¥lningen pÃ¥ reaktortaket och benämner den 3500 röntgen (R) när vi springande tar oss frÃ¥n bilen in i informationsbyggnaden kanske 50 meter frÃ¥n reaktorn. Al Gore har varit här. Den förre ukrainske diktatorn Leonid Kutchma likasÃ¥.  Bilder frÃ¥n de celebra besöken hänger pÃ¥ väggen. Runt taket hänger dessutom flaggor – och däribland den svenska - frÃ¥n de länder som har hjälpt till med finansieringen av uppröjningen.

    Informatör Julia Marosic visar en modell av den instabila, typiskt ryska RBMK-reaktorn. De numera krökta, smälta bränslestavarna under det 3000 ton tunga reaktortaket som flög av vid explosionen kallas Elenas hår.
    - Efter olyckan lades betongplattor på marken för att strålningen därifrån var så hög. Nu ska allt radioaktivt material som skyfflades ihop intill reaktor 4 byggas in i en box.

    Mätaren på väggen avslöjar att det är omkring 750 (mikroröntgen) uR/h inomhus och 1590 uR/h utomhus. Det är inte tal om några skyddskläder. Upp till 20 uR/h är normalvärde, får vi veta. Värdet bestämdes efter olyckan så att Kiev med 6-12 uR/h och Slavoutich med 14-18 uR/h skulle hamna inom normalvärdesgränsen.

    En av brandmännen som var först på plats i Tjernobyl.
    De flesta hamnade drabbade av strålsjuka på sjukhus
    nummer sex i Moskvadär de dog en smärtsam död.
    Källa: Tjernobylmuseet i Kiev.
    Rimma berättar att reparationer av det västra fragmentet inleddes i slutet av 2004. Därefter kommer södra sidan och taket som riskerar att rasa in.
    - Det mÃ¥ste stabiliseras, säger hon. Annars hotar kollaps. Men sarkofagen ska fÃ¥ ett nytt skal som ska vara pÃ¥ plats 2006. Det ska byggas pÃ¥ marken bredvid reaktorn och därefter skjutas pÃ¥ plats pÃ¥ järnvägsspÃ¥r av stÃ¥l. Det kallas SIP-projektet (Shelter Implementation Plan). Kostnaden kommer att uppgÃ¥ till 768 miljoner dollar hur nu det ska lösas. Pengar har nämligen redan förskingrats.

    Omkring 200 ton bränslematerial - som till 95 procent finns kvar i reaktorn ska tas omhand i speciella containers. Härdsmältan ligger under reaktorn. Ovanpå den ligger stora mängder sand och betong.
    - Omkring 25 procent av bränslet är tillgängligt, säger Rimma. Resten är för radioaktivt eller ligger blockerat. Allt är heller inte känt eftersom ingen har kunnat ta sig dit.
    De strålsjuka brandmännen som dogpå sjukhus
    nr sex är begravda under bly och betong på
    Mitinikyrkogården i Moskva.
    Foto: Monica Antonsson
    Rimma säger att temperaturen i reaktor 4 vid senaste mätningen var +31 grader Celsius. Vid södra cooling pound uppmättes en maximal gammastrålning på 3 400 R/h på grund av rester av färskt bränsle.

    Spökstaden Pripjat
    Vi kör vidare en sträcka pÃ¥ 8 km och förbi den sÃ¥ kallade Röda skogen 500 meter frÃ¥n kärnkraftverket. Den lÃ¥g i skottlinjen och träffades direkt av utsläppet frÃ¥n reaktor fyra. Skogen blev röd och dog. Därav namnet.
    - Skogen fälldes och begravdes i gropar som täcktes med en meter sand, säger Rimma. Sedan planterades ny skog ovanpå. Det är 10-15 000 uR/h där. De som gjorde jobbet tappade håret. Nu forskar både engelsmän, fransmän och amerikanare där. Hundratusentals arbetare i zonen blev sjuka. De värst skadade sägs vara begravda i blykistor under betong.

    Hon tror inte att de radioaktiva partiklarna från de begravda träden ska nå grundvattnet på tre till fem meters djup. Leran i marken ska sätta stopp för det, säger hon.
    - Partiklarna är inte lösliga. Hade de varit det, så hade vi varit chanslösa.

    Så kör vi då genom ytterligare en checkpont in i staden Pripjat där arbetarna bodde. Staden byggdes i två etapper 1970 respektive 1979. Härifrån evakuerades 50 000 människor i 1100 bussar den 27 april 1986.
    - Pripjatborna och folk från 90 byar i nuvarande Zonen evakuerades på bara två timmar, säger Rimma.
    Totalt var det över 100 000 människor som togs härifrÃ¥n. Sedan blev det flera. Men fortfarande bor folk i radioaktiva byar som exempelvis i odlingsdistriktet Narodichi i Zhitomir län sex, sju mil rakt västerut. Det finns inga pengar till fortsatt evakuering. Myndigheterna mÃ¥ste ju i sÃ¥ fall ge dem gratis lägenheter.

    Rimma i ett rum på hotell Polissiai.
    Foto: Monica Antonsson
    ”Lenins parti och folkets kraft ger oss kommunismens triumfer”.

    Så står det skrivet på en av de första fasaderna som möter oss i Pripjat. Här är växtligheten på god väg att ta över. Det är svårt att ta sig fram mellan plundrade höghus där geigermätaren visar 200-1000 uR/h. Vildsvin och vargar är de enda invånarna numera.

    - Staten gick igenom alla bostäder och tog hand om allt som var värdefullt, säger Rimma. Det som var kvar slängde soldaterna ut genom fönstren och förstörde. Allt för att undvika plundring och för att saker och ting inte skulle dyka upp på marknaderna i Kiev.
    Om det är sant eller inte är svårt att veta. Många har vittnat om hur de åkte tillbaka i smyg och hämtade sitt bohag. Lika många är berättelserna om plundring och om radioaktiva föremål som spridits ut över hela det forna Sovjet.


    "Folkets hälsa är folkets välstånd"
    står det på hotell Polissias fasad vid ett stort torg mitt i Pripjat. Vi närmast vadar i krossat glas när vi går uppför den breda säkert en gång rätt pampiga trappan till hotellets entre. Innanför till höger ligger den sönderslagna reception med hotelliggaren uppslagen på golvet. Till vänster ses resterna av en restaurang med halvcirkelformad scen för dansbanden. Det droppar från taket och träd växer rakt genom golvet i hotellrummen.

    PÃ¥ takterrassen Ã¥tta trappor upp stÃ¥r resterna av en utställning till varning för den amerikanska atomvapenfaran. Det ser ut som att en föreläsning pÃ¥gick men fick avbrytas i all hast. SÃ¥ här ska vi göra om USA anfaller med kärnvapen, stod det att läsa pÃ¥ planscherna 1997 när jag var här första gÃ¥ngen. De har vittrat sönder nu. Rester kan skönjas i den allmänna brÃ¥ten av smuts och sönderslagna möbler. I fjärran bildar reaktor fyra silhuett mot himlen.

    Utanför hotellet tickar Rimmas geigermätare extra snabbt ju närmare den gröna mossan pÃ¥ marken hon hÃ¥ller den. Mossa duger Ã¥t sig radioaktivitet sÃ¥ mätaren stannar pÃ¥ närmare 500 uR/h.

    Utsikt från hotell Polissia. Foto: Monica Antonsson

    Strax intill hotellet reser sig kulturhuset. Vi gÃ¥r in genom sceningÃ¥ngen och rakt över den stora scenen. Jag kan inte lÃ¥ta bli utan sjunger "Natt i Moskva" rakt ut i mörkret. De andra stämmer in pÃ¥ respektive sprÃ¥k. Kanske var det det sista framträdandet nÃ¥gonsin pÃ¥ Pripjats teater.

    Vi tar oss vidare genom den stora teatersalongen med ledning av ljuset frÃ¥n fönster och öppna dörrar. Väl ute igen Ã¶ppnar Rimma ett kulissförrÃ¥d som hon nyligen har hittat. Där stÃ¥r jättelika porträtt av Sovjettidens potentater. Det är president Michail Gorpatjov, KGB-chefen Chevrikov och makthavare frÃ¥n politbyrÃ¥n. Bilderna skulle ha använts som dekorationer pÃ¥ byggnaderna den 1 maj det olyckssaliga Ã¥ret 1986.

    Ett stenkast bort ligger nöjesfältet som aldrig blev invigt. Geigermätaren tickar oroväckande bland radiobilar, karuseller och vid foten av det rostiga pariserhjulet. Pinjetallarna är missbildade här. Barren har tre i stället för tvÃ¥ pinnar. Forskning pÃ¥gÃ¥r, säger Rimma. Det är inte genetiskt men mycket intressant.

    Vi kör förbi simhallen där alla fönster nu har försvunnit. För bara några år sedan satt de på plats.
    - De hade metallinfattningar, säger Rimma. De är stulna.
    Vildsvin har bökat i jorden vid entrén så att väldiga diken har bildats. Det är, som sagt, svin och varg som regerar i Pripjat i samråd med rådjur och älgar.
    - Jakt är förbjudet. Den ende som jagar här är forskaren Olof Eriksson frÃ¥n Sverige.

    I ett före detta bostadsomrÃ¥de omgivet av tomma höghus möter oss resterna av en eld. PÃ¥ ett spett slängt pÃ¥ marken sitter ett skelett. NÃ¥gon har grillat en hund.
    - Det är många skumma individer som söker sig hit undan samhället och polisen, säger Rimma. En del är mentalt sjuka. Andra är kriminella. De struntar i radioaktiv strålning. Här får de vara ifred så länge de håller sig undan och vi inte kommer på dem.
    Röda skogen har fått sitt namn för att träden blev röda här efter olyckan.
    Platsen var så radioaktiv att de som röjde här blev sjuka och tappade håret.
    Foto: Monica Antonsson
    PÃ¥ tillbakavägen stannar vi till vid platsen för Galgträdet, ett träd som sÃ¥g ut som en djävulsgaffel. Tyskarna hängde partisaner i trädet under andra världskriget. Senare hängde partisanerna förrädare i samma träd. Det stod där som ett monument över världens mÃ¥nga orättvisor och blev efter kärnkraftsolyckan en symbol för Tjernobyl med den exploderade reaktor 4 som kunde skymtas i fjärran genom bladverket.

    När Röda skogen höggs ner och trädet blev ensamt kvar föll det ihop och ersatts med ett minnesmärke av aluminium.
    - Det symboliserar sÃ¥nt som aldrig dör, säger Rimma. Som till exempel mänsklig dumhet.
    Runt minnesmärket har skogen vuxit upp. Reaktor 4 syns inte längre. En gul, trekantig skylt som varnar för radioaktivitet talar om att det är farligt att vistas i omrÃ¥det.
    - Vid en sådan skylt är det minst 600 uR/h, säger Rimma och lägger sin giegermätare på marken tills den mäter 800 uR/h, då hon avbryter mätningen för att åka vidare.
    En av fordonskyrkogårdarna i Tjernobyl.
    Foto: Monica Antonsson

    Vi åker tillbaka mot Tjernobyl och passerar ett betonghus för utbränt kärnbränsle – sånt som terrorister inte ska få fatt i och som hos oss ska förvaras i djupa bergsrum.

    Efter en sexrätters lunch på zonadministrationen åker vi till Tjernobyls hamn, där spöklika skepp ligger och rostar. Vi far vidare till en av de stora fordonskyrkogårdarna, där jeepar, lastbilar, helikoptrar och flygplan har fått sin eviga parkeringsplats. Miljön är så radioaktiv, att vi måste beskåda dem från en särskild plattform.
    – Jag arbetade här, säger Sergei och ryser när han vänder bilen för att köra oss tillbaka till hotellet i Kiev.
    Monica Antonsson

    Rimma fick tillstÃ¥nd att resa till Sverige en tid efter detta vÃ¥rt besök i Tjernobyl. Hon bodde hos mig och jag gjorde flera bandade intervjuer med henne. Hon hade med sig unikt material om bland annat den nya sarkofagen. I gengäld fick hon ta del av information som ukrainska och ryska myndigheter tonar ner.
    Vi höll kontakt per mail men när jag ett halvÃ¥r senare skulle boka in nästa besök i Tjernobyl fick jag veta att hon var död. Hon hade hastigt gÃ¥tt bort under Ã¥tminstone för oss mycket märkliga omständigheter. Hennes chef kom i stället att guida oss. Ett reportageteam var med, bland annat en fantastiskt gullig  27-Ã¥rig fotograf och tvÃ¥barnspappa. Mindre än ett Ã¥r senare insjuknade han i leukemi och dog 30 Ã¥r gammal. Ingen vet varför.

    Läs gärna hans blogg "En kopp kaffe och massor utav tid" http://blogg.daverus.se/
    Och här ligger hans bildspel från Tjernobyl: http://www.daverus.se/

    Den nya sarkofagen som skulle ha varit färdig till skydd för världen 2006 är ännu inte på plats.

    Och så här ser sarkofagen ut idag.

              Ã–ver Atlanten i lastbÃ¥t        
    Över Atlanten i Lastbåt
    Lena Blom

    Lena Blom går ombord

    Att resa till Kanada utan att flyga eller anlita dyrt passagerarfartyg var lättare än vi trodde.
    Min man Kjell satte sig vid datorn och sökte efter resor med lastbåt från Europa. Han fick snart napp. Förmedlingsföretaget Cruise People i London gav oss prisuppgifter och avgångstider för olika fartyg.
    Vänta pÃ¥ mig! Jag vill ocksÃ¥ följa med...
     Detta var i september 2007 och i maj 2008 skulle vÃ¥rt val, containerfartyget M/S Flottbek, avgÃ¥ frÃ¥n Antwerpen.
    Vi betalade genast in anmälningssumman och sedan började papperna dyka upp. Vi fick försäkra rederiet om ditt och datt, bland annat att inte ställa ekonomiska krav vid eventuella missförhållanden.
    Vi fick också skicka läkarintyg på att vi var friska – lastbåtar har till skillnad från de stora passagerarfartygen ingen läkare ombord och resan beräknades till tio dagar.
    Ett par månader före avresan betalade vi slutsumman och var därmed garanterade hytt med måltider ombord.

    VÃ¥r hytt
    Vi kom sent en kväll till Antwerpen, övernattade på ett vandrarhem och dagen därpå tog vi taxi till
    hamnen. Efter diverse kontroller skjutsades vi vidare till båten där några filippinska besättningsmän tog emot oss och visade, kånkande på vårt bagage, vägen till vår hytt uppe i den höga akterbyggnaden.
     Framför den sträckte sig det långa däcket – båten var nära 170 meter
     â€“ där lastningen av containrar pÃ¥gick.
    Vår hytt var större än vi väntat oss och det gick lätt att installera sig i den. Äntligen var vi på plats för resan över havet!

    Strax efter oss dök ett tyskt passagerarpar i trettioårsåldern upp. De hade cyklar med sig och tänkte när de kommit fram cykla tvärs över Kanada; från Montreal till Vancouver!
    PÃ¥ bryggan...
    Vår båt lämnade Antwerpen i nattmörker för en avstickare till Liverpool, England, där ytterligare containrar lastades. I Liverpool anslöt ett pensionerat engelskt par och vi blev nu sex passagerare. Det engelska paret var mycket miljömedvetna och vägrade flyga, de var också imponerade av Sveriges insatser i miljöfrågor.

    Fartyget går sakta in i "the lock" i Liverpool. Millimeterpassning!
    Bye, bye Liverpool!
    Från en old shanty = an´ I was a gaddam
    fool, in the port of Liverpool, at the first time
    that I came home from sea -
    Oh, dirty Maggie May, you lov´d my heart away...

    Från Liverpool sattes så kurs på Kanada. Besättningen var övervägande filippinsk, förutom två tyskar, en lett och en rumän. Den trettionioårige tyske kaptenen hade bland annat semestrat i Sverige på motorcykel och var mycket förtjust i vårt land.
    Alla måltider intog vi i officersmässen och den lille tjänstvillige filippinske stewarden frågade varje morgon hur vi ville ha de stekta äggen – ”sunny side up”? Han var så söt. Vi fick röra oss fritt på båten så länge vi inte var i vägen för arbetande sjömän. Efter någon dag ute på öppet hav gick larmet i vår hytt, dock bara för en livbåtsövning. I full mundering; varma kläder, hjälm och flytväst fick vi dubbelvikta ta oss in i den täckta livbåten som hängde med fören lutande nedåt en bit över vattnet. Vi fick god hjälp av besättningen men hade det varit på riktigt vet jag inte hur det skulle ha känts.
    Den tyske kaptenen
    Dagarna liksom det lugna havet flöt förbi, allt under givande och intressant samvaro med
    besättningen och de andra passagerarna. Under hela resan besvarade kaptenen gärna våra frågor och berättade själv en och annan episod från sitt sjömansliv. Två kvällar ordnade manskapet glada karaoke-kvällar i sin mäss. Många av dem var fantastiska sångare och det serverades öl och vin. De unga männen bjöd flitigt upp oss tre kvinnliga passagerare till dans och var mycket artiga. Över huvud taget var de mycket lättsamma i det dagliga livet ombord och skrattade ofta. Särskilt när de under frivakter tittade på den kultförklarade filmkomedin ”S/S Martha” (med engelsk text), vilken Kjell köpt från Sjömansservice Media och gett dem.
    När vi slutligen närmade oss den amerikanska kontinentens fastland gick vi in i ett par dagars dimma. Här fanns också risk för drivande isberg och på bryggan hade man extra bevakning. När dimman lättat sprang vi dit upp och såg mötande fartyg, delfiner och valar som tumlade om i vattnet och massor av fåglar som omgav oss. Fastlandet framträdde allt tydligare och sista kvällen ombord gled vi förbi ett upplyst Quebeck, en magnifik syn. På morgonen var vi vid kaj i Montreal och två tull- och immigrationsofficerare kom ombord. De kontrollerade pass och frågade ut oss passagerarpar var för sig. När de frågade mig och min man vad vi tänkte göra i Kanada visade Kjell dem ett gruppfoto av alla hans nio kusiner där och förklarade att vi skulle besöka dem. Det blev inga fler frågor, bara några stämplar och ett ”Welcome to Canada”…
    Vi tog farväl av våra vänner ombord. Efter ett par byten i en hypermodern tunnelbana kunde vi kliva på en Greyhoundbuss som trettiofyra timmar senare släppte av oss i Winnipeg, i hjärtat av indianernas och präriernas land, där den första kusinen väntade. Men det är en annan historia.

    Tack Lena!

              Och alltihop stod pÃ¥ ett tio meter lÃ¥ngt 1700-talsskepp...        
    Det här tycker jag är häftigt. Sex meter under Ground Zero, där 2752 människor dog i terroristattacken 11 september 2001, har man hittat ett tio meter långt skepp från 1700-talet som helt enkelt bland annan bråte utgjorde grunden för utbyggnaden av halvön Manhattan. Och på det har de båda jättehusen stått! Och fallit ihop! Utan att skeppet har gått sönder mer än det redan var när det begravdes! Fantastiskt, tycker jag.


    "Troligen placerades fartyget där i början av 1800-talet för att skapa fast mark på platsen som innan dess var en del av Hudsonfloden. Enligt arkeologen Molly MacDonald, som länge arbetat med utgrävningar på området, är en tredjedel av nedre Manhattan uppbyggd av timmer och trä som människor en gång lagt dit för bygga pirar och klippor.
    De senaste 40 åren har flera skepp hittats i området.
    - Men det är ganska ovanligt och spännande att hitta det här på platsen för World Trade Center, sade MacDonald till CNN
    Skeppet, som tros vara från 1700-talet, låg begravt sex meter under jorden och hade inte tagit skada när de två tvillingtornen byggdes."
    Jag var i New York en månad före 11 september 2001. Så här såg det ut från toppen av Empire State Building då. Tvillingtornen var ganska fåniga, tyckte jag som valde att inte åka upp i dem för att beundra utsikten. "Vad är det för mening med dessa fallossymboler", gnällde jag. "Hur f'*n kan man komma på tanken att bygga något sådant? En vacker dag måste de rivas. Hur gör man då?"

    En månad senare var husen nere. Vi vet alla hur.
    Jag återvände till New York efter några år. Som alla andra stod jag och stirrade rakt ner i kratern efter World Trade Center. Utanför avspärrningarna stod brandmän och andra som bara sörjde, berättade om vad som hänt eller sålde böcker och minnessaker till turister.

    Första gången i New York blev jag förskräckt över soporna. Bergen av sopsäckar växer sig varje dag höga längs trottoarerna. Sitter man på en uteservering kan man raskt få en vägg av äckliga sopsäckar bakom sig. Här finns nämligen inga soprum! I stället fiskas säckarna upp av sopbilar varje natt och så rullar det på. Det är därför det går minst tio råttor på varje människa i New York.

    Det ryker och pyser ur underjorden och trafiken låter precis som den gör på film med utryckningsfordon och allt. Ändå grips man av den alldeles speciella tjusning som finns just på Manhattan. Det är verkligen världens mittpunkt. Jag såg "Mamma Mia" från första parkett och insåg till min förvåning att hela den amerikanska publiken stampade fötterna i golvet och sjöng med i varenda låt. Så stora är ABBA. Och New York, en stad som absolut måste upplevas.

    Men åter till Ground Zero.

    Så här skrev jag 2005 i ett större reportage om 11 september:

    "Före den 11 september 2001 var nedre Manhattans sky-line känd över hela världen för sina 110 våningar höga tvillingtorn i World Trade Center. Efter terrorattacken blev platsen en stor, inhägnad grop kallad Ground Zero. Dit vallfärdar turisterna än i dag för att titta och köpa souvenirer. Den som inte har varit vid Ground Zero har helt enkelt inte varit i New York. Djupt nere i gropen går numera tunnelbanan som förr på reparerade spår. Om bara några år kan gropen vara ett minne blott. Ett 541 meter högt 82-vånings Freedom Tower ska byggas på platsen. Det kan stå klart 2010 men till dess är platsen ett eldorado för gatuförsäljare av vykort, böcker och t-shirts med motiv av Manhattans gamla välkända silhuett.
    – Know the facts, säger Harry Roland som var säkerhetsvakt i det södra tornet. This is history! Don´t let it be a mystery! Han upprepar orden som ett mantra. Det här är historia. Låt det inte förbli ett mysterium.
    Harry Roland överlevde terroristattacken tack vare sin sjuårige son Devon som assisterar honom här vid avspärrningen. Harry var alltid tidigt på jobbet, men den 11 september följde han Devon till hans första skoldag. Det räddade hans liv. Sedan dess har han stått vid Ground Zero varje dag. Han har gjort det till sin livsuppgift att berätta.
    – Min chef ringde mig, säger han. Han sa att ett kapat jetplan just hade kraschat på 95:e våningen i det norra tornet. Jag trodde honom inte. Arton minuter senare kraschade ett annat jetplan på 90:e våningen i det södra tornet. Det södra tornet kollapsade först och spred skräp och aska över hela Manhattan. Senare rasade även det norra.
    Tvillingtornen var emellertid inte de enda byggnader som kollapsade den dagen. Och det är mest det Harry Roland vill berätta. Sju byggnader som rasade samman. Sedan fick ytterligare fem skyskrapor plockas ner sten för sten. Rivningen av det sista, svarta 60 våningshuset på kanten till Ground Zero tog flera år.
    – Det fanns inte en hel fönsterruta i kvarteret efter attacken, säger Harry Roland. Varenda byggnad förstördes utom St Pauls Chapel som byggdes på 1700-talet. Kyrkan begravdes under betongdamm utan att en enda ruta gick sönder. Det var något magiskt med det.
    Harry Roland säger bestämt, att omkring 3 700 människor dog på Manhattan den dagen. Det är omkring 900 fler än den officiella siffran.
    – Offren var anställda, räddningsarbetare och besökare i husen, säger han. Men där fanns även arbetare som befann sig illegalt i USA. Många hade varit här i flera år. Ändå räknades de inte. Deras familjer fick heller ingen hjälp från myndigheterna.
    På Manhattan är numera det 103 våningar höga Empire State Building högst bland alla skyskrapor. Huset besöks varje år av 3,5 miljoner personer. Efter en säkerhetskontroll värdig en flygplats tar 73 hissar 50 personer åt gången upp till 80:e våningen. Där tar nya hissar vid upp till observatoriet på 86:e våningen. Utsikten över Manhattan är bedövande. Där ligger Central Park förstås med sina 26 000 träd, 36 broar, 8968 bänkar att sitta på, två sjöar, 275 olika sorters fåglar och 25 miljoner besökare varje år. Där är Battery Park, där John Ericsson står staty. Där är Frihetsgudinnan och Ellis Island. Det är bara tvillingtornen som numera saknas."

    Något Freedom Tower har ännu 2010 inte byggts på Ground Zero. I stället gräver arkeologerna fram ett 1700-talsskepp. Visst är det märkligt...
    De lune temperaturer og mange solskinstimer den sidste ugestid, har virkelig sat gang i en helt ny akt og det helt store sceneskift. De smukke tulipaner som vi har nydt rigtigt længe, har takket af og givet pladsen videre til nye aktører. Billederne er taget i løbet af den sidste uge og kommer i en skøn blanding, både med langt og nyklippet græs.

    Træpæon med morgendug.

    Det første billede er allerede forældet, sådan så den ud idag.

    Prærielilje Camassia i fuld flor. Der er dog kun kommet to blÃ¥ i Ã¥r.

    SÃ¥ er det allium tid.


    Lupin noble maiden med stor knop.

    I efteråret brokkede jeg mig over mine iris, der ikke havde blomstret i flere år. Det råder de bod på nu hvor der er flere blomsterstængler med knopper på vej.

    Jeg kan ikke huske hvilken farve de har, men det tegner da meget godt.

    Den lille magnolie blomstrer helt vildt i år.

    Det gør det jo ikke lettere at grave den op, men der venter jo en skøn erstatning i kulissen som gerne vil i jorden.

    Der er jo den skønne Styrax japonica / Japansk Sneklokke der skulle overtage pladsen.

    Nu står den så i bedet, overgået i højde af både stormhat og pæon. Men pyt... jeg syntes den passer perfekt til dråbebedet, der lige nu tager en blomster slapper og står næsten helt grønt. Jeg skal vist lige ha rettet dens støtte pind til lodret.

    Der er dog lidt småtterier i blomst, cosmos og fjeldarve.

    Den lille magnolie er foreløbig endt i en stor zinkbalje og har indtilvidere klaret opgravningen fint.

    Dagligt springer nye akelejer ud.

    I det bagerste æbletræ ca midt i billedet, blomstrer klematis Monatana Rubens. Nu har den nÃ¥et toppen og til næste Ã¥r begynder den forhÃ¥bentlig at vælte ud over træet og blive mere synlig.

    Den er bestemt ikke let at tage billeder af, nu hvor den gemmer sig blandt æbleblomster og blade.

    Bag vandposten klatrer miss bateman i et stativ af rionet. Det er måske ikke så let at se i alt det grønne, men den er fyldt med masser af skønne knopper.

    De første blomster er sprunget ud.

    Hagley Hybrid har en fest på stakittet i tøsebedet, og skyder lange fine skud lige op i luften.

    Og hvor er jeg glad for alle de smukke klematis der trives. Dette sørgelige syn mødte mig i gÃ¥r da jeg kom fra arbejde. Nøje har jeg fulgt og vogtet over Duchess of Edinburgh, som bar knopper og skulle blomstre for første gang. I første omgang hÃ¥bede jeg at vand kunne udføre mirakler, men jeg mÃ¥ jo nok se i øjnene at det er visnesyge der har slÃ¥et til....øv altsÃ¥. Heldigvis ser dens lille makker uden knopper til at trives endnu.

    Trekantsbedet med dansende allium.

    Det plejer at være fra denne side jeg tager billeder.

     Den yndige porcelænsblomst væver sig rundt i bedet.

    Til sidst noget helt andet, nemlig lidt sommerfugle erotik. Det var fascinerende at se dem flyve fortumlet rundt, mens de var hægtet sammen. Det er åbenbart en langsommelig proces og de var totalt ligeglade med at blive taget på fersk gerning :)

    Det blev et langt indlæg, med lidt af det der blomstrer i haven lige nu. Jeg elsker denne tid, hvor hver dag byder på skattejagt efter nye juveler.

    Mange solskins hilsner herfra :)

              Terrassen og lidt andet.....        
    Søndag eftermiddag blev det endelig tid til at plante lidt sommer stemning, i de seks meter altankasser vi har på terrassen. Farvevalget blev næsten det samme som sidste år, for jeg er helt pjattet med denne farvekombination, især når de væver sig imellem hinanden.

    Jeg plejer at så en god del til kasserne selv. I år dog uden den helt store succes, for det har lange udsigter inden de er klar. Så heldigvis var min hr fader og jeg i onsdags på vores årlige udflugt, til et gartneri med salg af sommerblomster. I år gik turen til Lundager gartneri ved Vildbjerg og der var nok af drivhuse og sommerblomster til rimelige priser at vælge mellem. Et stort drivhus var udelukkende fyldt med spændende krydderurter, men jeg har desværre ingen billeder derfra.

    Det ser måske lidt voldsomt ud med alle de petunia, men der er kun seks planter.

    Det er ikke så let at indfange de seks meter, men her er næsten det hele med.

    Flere steder har klatrehortensia næsten overtaget kasserne, men med lidt snilde fik jeg planterne i jorden, Når klatrehortensiaen engang er afblomstret, klipper jeg dem tilbage, så der bliver plads til sommerblomsterne.. Sølv cineraria er genbrug fra sidste år, de er klippet godt tilbage, så de ikke går i blomst med det samme.

    Jeg tabte mit hjerte totalt til denne skønne lille sag.  Styrax japonica / Japansk Sneklokke  den er da helt uimodstÃ¥elig med de smukke knopper og blomster dansende under grenene. Jeg fandt en hvor toppen ikke var taget, sÃ¥ jeg med tiden kan stamme den op. Dens opgave lyder sÃ¥, at vokse et par meter i Ã¥r, men desværre vokser den nok ikke sÃ¥ hurtigt. Tænk den kostede kun 40 kroner :)

     Jeg ved lige hvor den skal stÃ¥..... nemlig i det hvid gule drÃ¥bebed. Det bliver sÃ¥ pÃ¥ bekostning af den lille rosa magnolie.... magnolien blev plantet inden bedet blev lavet og trænger nu til at komme videre.

    Hængebegonia har jeg ikke tidligere haft som sommerblomst. Det er normalt ikke en blomst der siger mig noget, men denne fine summer wings kunne jeg ikke stå for.

    Ja den ser jo ikke ud af meget lige nu, men jeg så nogle kæmpe store og flotte eksemplarer i gartneriet, så den kan bare komme igang med at gro i en fart :).

    Til sidst et par skønne farvekombinationer der matcher helt perfekt.

    Nu står den på regn de kommende dage, men så kommer varmen og haven vil nok endnu engang nærmest eksplodere af nye og endnu smukkere blomster......nøj hvor er vi heldige lige nu, hvor vi står midt i foråret med al dens skønhed.

    Mange mandags hilsner herfra ;)
              Fakta om Island        
    stat i Nordatlanten. Island består av en ung lavaplatå med inte mindre än 200–300 vulkaner, varav ett 30-tal är aktiva.
    Ön domineras av ett platå- och fjordlandskap med en medelhöjd av 500 m ö.h. En dryg tiondel av ytan täcks av is i form av glaciärer; Vatnajökull är världens största glaciär utanför de arktiska områdena. Island har gott om älvar, vattenfall och sjöar, och över hela ön förekommer områden med heta källor och svavelkällor. Dessa används för uppvärmning av bl.a. drivhus, badanläggningar och bostadshus. Öns läge på sydsidan av polcirkeln medför ett tempererat klimat.
    Somrarna är svala med en medeltemperatur för juli på omkring 11 °C. Vintrarna är milda och regniga med en medeltemperatur för januari på omkring 0 °C. Numera finns bara rester kvar av forntidens skogar av fjällbjörk.
    I övrigt är landskapet trädlöst med gräsmarker, fjällhedar och myrar. Stora områden i inlandet täcks av sten och grus.

    Island är mycket glesbefolkat, och befolkningen är koncentrerad längs kusterna. Drygt 90 % av islänningarna hör till statskyrkan; säreget för landet är spiritismens folkliga förankring. Den isländska arbetslösheten är vanligtvis låg, och många islänningar har extraarbeten. Män arbetar i genomsnitt 56 timmar i veckan och kvinnor drygt 38 timmar.


    Fiske och fiskprodukter är grundvalen för Islands ekonomi, och under normala år svarar fiskenäringen för ca 75 % av landets exportintäkter. Den isländska ekonomin är därför mycket känslig för förändringar av fångsternas storlek och världsmarknadspriserna på fisk. Vid sidan av fiskindustrin har aluminiumproduktionen blivit allt viktigare. Landet har tack vare den stora tillgången på billig energi alltmer utvecklats till Europas aluminiumcentrum. Bland andra expansiva branscher märks datateknologi och genteknik. Även tjänste- och servicesektorn har vuxit starkt under 2000-talet. Rrädslan för att mista kontrollen över fisket i egna vatten har gjort att landet valt att stå utanför EU. Som en följd av finnanskrisen 2008, som drabbade Island hårt, har landet dock alltmer närmat sig EU.
    Endast ca 1 % av ytan är uppodlad, men en stor andel används som betesmarker, i första hand för fåruppfödning men även uppfödning av islandshästar och kor.

    I sagalitteraturen nämns att iriska eremiter, papar, ska ha bott på Island före nordborna, men detta har inte kunnat beläggas arkeologiskt.
    Under perioden 870–930, "landnamstiden", befolkades Island av norska stormän; de äldsta daterade gravarna är från ca 900.
    Vissa stormän begav sig till Island för att undfly den framväxande norska kungamakten. Bönderna bosatte sig på enskilda gårdar, inte i byar. Omkring 930 blev alltinget, som årligen sammanträdde vid Thingvellir, Islands samlande politiska organ. Landet dominerades av de ca 40 godarna, innehavare av ärftliga ämbeten, godord.
    Kristendomen antogs omkring 1000, och lagen Grágás nedtecknades 1117–18.
    Eftersom klimatet inte lämpade sig för jordbruk, annat än i begränsad utsträckning, kom Island att präglas av boskapsskötsel och fiske. Exporten utgjordes främst av vadmal. Politiskt kännetecknades Island länge av fejder mellan stormannasläkter. En av de mäktigaste var sturlungaätten, som dominerade ön ca 1220–62. Samtidigt växte det norska inflytandet. Island blev alltmer beroende av handeln med Bergen.
    År 1152 inordnades kyrkan under ärkebiskopen i Nidaros, och 1262 underkastade sig alltinget Norges kung. Kungen erhöll skatt av islänningarna och representerades av en hirdstyrare, men i övrigt var förändringarna små.
    År 1380 följde Island med Norge i union med Danmark.I mitten av 1300-talet blev torkad fisk Islands viktigaste exportvara.
    På 1400-talet ("den engelska tiden") var det engelska handelsinflytandet stort, medan förbindelserna med Norge blev mindre viktiga. När kungamakten stärktes på 1500-talet knöts Island hårdare till Danmark och påtvingades 1541–50 reformationen med våld.
    Handeln på Island blev 1602 ett danskt monopol. Den danska kungen representerades av en hövitsman och en fogde, men isländska bevarades som kyrko- och kulturspråk.
    Ön kom att domineras av storjordägare, som också var kungliga