The Torture and Temptation of the Lust for Really Good Chocolate

I’m having a small problem with chocolate… I want it! I want it often and I want it served warm and tasting like real chocolate with cream to smooth it out. I want it every day, more than once.

But, I’m trying to ignore chocolate and cheesecake and ice cream and all those soft, warm or chilled, yummy things. I lost almost 20 pounds but last month I put back two of them.

I blame chocolate, whether the chocolate truly deserves the blame or not.

I Know it will be Warm, Rich and Creamy – Everything I Lust for in Chocolate

Did you know how nice and easy it is to order chocolate to be delivered to your door? I ordered a box of chocolates from a Canadian chocolate company out on the west coast, Vancouver, British Columbia. To get to my house that chocolate had to travel across thousands of kilometres, several provinces and it made the trip a day early. I opened the box, reverently. I tried to be mindful and enjoy every moment and each nuance of chocolate. But, I had eaten three of the milk chocolate bars before I could make myself put the box away.

So, ordering chocolate is not the best way to deal with a craving for chocolate.

I’m still looking for alternative ideas. Today I noticed this Bialetti hot chocolate pot, mostly for the photo. I can taste that chocolate. I know it will be warm and rich and creamy… Everything I lust for in chocolate. I haven’t decided whether or not to order the machine. It’s a risk. What if I like it too much?!

Then I started looking at other well known (to me) chocolate companies who will send packages of chocolate to your door, via Amazon. Oh, the torture, the temptation… I can taste it and it tastes GOOD!

The best I can do is give in to the craving for chocolate but moderate it. This means letting myself have the chocolate but only once a month and then making sure the chocolate I have at that time is the best possible chocolate on the planet at that particular place and time. No supermarket chocolate bars. No packaged hot chocolate mixes. Only the best, real chocolate and I want it smooth, rich and creamy. A chocolate pudding, but not something out of a cardboard box.

I’m adding the hot chocolate maker to my list of things to buy, along with a bathroom scale. Next month there will be chocolate! Better chocolate.

The Grass On the Other Side was Greener

Being Green (reprinted from Facebook)

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment f or
future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were truly recycled.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our schoolbooks. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throwaway kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person.

Curiousity and Self Discipline

This was from an old profile I wrote for the BackWash site. It may have been the first one I wrote there. I thought it was pretty clever. The site is gone, I found it via the Internet Wayback Machine,  so I’m saving it here.

 

Life endlessly intrigues me. I have so much curiousity that I had to remove all my self discipline just to give myself room to think.

The Difference Between Dinosaurs

I’m watching a documentary about dinosaurs. Trying to figure out why they sometimes had tiny arms, huge spikes or scales that were too thin to be for battle or protection. Lots of other details about dinosaur appearance too. The archaeologists use these features to identify species of dinosaurs. But, I wonder if they take into account how a single species can look quite different between the male and the female. How many species of dinosaurs have been mislabeled as a different species when in fact, they are just the female or male version of another species already known.

It would be very hard to figure this out. We just don’t have enough real information versus educated guesses. A time machine would come in handy, but isn’t very practical right now.

Open Source Embroidery

Open Source Embroidery

Embroidery is constructed (mostly by women) in hundreds of tiny stitches which are visible on the front of the fabric. The system of the stitches is revealed on the back of the material. Some embroiderers seal the back of the fabric, preventing others from seeing the underlying structure of the pattern. Others leave the back open for those who want to take a peek. A few integrate the backend process into the front of the fabric. The patterns are shared amongst friends in knitting and embroidery ‘ciricles’.

Software is constructed (mostly by men) in hundreds of tiny pieces of code, which form the hidden structure of the programme or interface. Open Source software allows you to look at the back of the fabric, and understand the structure of your software, modify it and distribute it. The code is shared amongst friends through online networks. However the stitches or code only make sense to those who are familiar with the language or patterns.

The same arguments about Open Source vs Free Software can be applied to embriodery. The needlework crafts also have to negotiate the principles of ‘freedom’ to create, modify and distribute, within the cultural and economic constraints of capitalism. The Open Source Embroidery project simply attempts to provide a social and practical way of discussing the issues and trying out the practice. Free Software, Open Source, amatuer and professional embrioderers and programmers are welcome to contribute to the project.

Open Source Embroidery pays homage to Ada Lovelace (1816-52) who helped to develop the Analytical Engine, the first idea for a universal computer, with Charles Babbage. Lovelace wrote “we may say most aptly that the Analytical Engine weaves algebraical patterns just as the Jaquard Loom weaves flowers and leaves.” (Gere, 2002, p24). The Jaquard Loom (1810) was the first machine to use punched-card programming.

The above is the introduction cut and pasted from the site. It was information which I wanted to have to read over again so I decided to post it all here with the link.

I wonder if anyone is doing something like this with machine knitting?