mercredi, avril 23, 2008

rusty, the narcoleptic dachshund

Nancy and Ryan went to UC Davis' picnic days, where they saw the Dachshund "races." Here's what she had to say about it:
"Some of them just take off, while others promptly go behind the starting line to where they know someone will pick them up and snuggle them. I now want a mini-dachshund, but suspect the cat would kill me or it if I did."
After reading that, Leo and I got a good laugh out of the idea of a "mini" dachshund. So I googled to learn more and found this video.

I realize it's no laughing matter, but it's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.

dimanche, avril 20, 2008

quinoa, corn, and tomato salad with chive-infused olive oil

Leo and I have made this several times and always love it. The chives and limes make for a light, refreshing taste. The corn and tomatoes are beautiful and flavorful in this salad.

Use the leftover chive oil as a dressing or on grilled fish or vegetables. Garnish with whole fresh chives, if desired.

1 1/2 cups water (or broth)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears) or frozen corn (we use Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons Chive-Infused Oil (recipe below) 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced

Combine 1 1/2 cups water and quinoa in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Combine quinoa, corn, tomatoes, and parsley in a medium bowl. Combine Chive-Infused Oil and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad; toss well to coat. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 179(34% from fat); FAT 6.7g (sat 0.7g,mono 4.1g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 5.2g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 20mg; SODIUM 145mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.1g

Lia Huber, Cooking Light, AUGUST 2007

Chive-infused Oil Recipe
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (1-inch) slices fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a blender; pulse 6 times or until chives are very finely minced. Strain mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl, and discard solids. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
3/4 cup (serving size: 1 1/2 teaspoons)
Nutritional Information
CALORIES 63(100% from fat); FAT 7g (sat 1g,mono 5.4g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 0.0g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 0.0mg; SODIUM 49mg; FIBER 0.0g; IRON 0.0mg; CARBOHYDRATE 0.0g

lundi, avril 14, 2008

beef, it's what's for dinner (and breakfast, and lunch, and ...)

James sent this to us this morning, with "I think I'll like Uruguay" in the subject line.

Leo said there were protestors about the wood, vegetarian protestors, and probably some folks protesting the price of meat. I will say this -- I loved the asados we enjoyed down South.
Uruguay hosts biggest BBQ, grills 12 tons of beef
Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:59pm
MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) - More than a thousand barbecue fanatics in Uruguay grilled up 12 metric tonnes (26,400 lbs) of beef on Sunday, setting a new Guinness world record while promoting the country's succulent top export.

Army personnel set up a grill nearly 1 mile long and firefighters lit six tonnes of charcoal to kick off the gargantuan cookout.

Some 1,250 people grilled the beef and about 20,000 spectators cried with joy when a Guinness judge confirmed the barbecue record had been broken.

"I'm very proud to be Uruguayan. We have the best beef and now we have the world's biggest barbecue," said one of the volunteer cooks, sporting an apron and chef's hat.

The South American country bested a Mexican grilling record from 2006 by a resounding 4 tonnes.

The barbecue was organized by the National Meats Institute, or INAC in Spanish, which tracks beef sales abroad.

Beef exports raked in $817 million last year for Uruguay, a laid-back country of some 3.2 million people squeezed between larger neighbors Argentina and Brazil, also major cattle producers.

"Uruguay is very small, it's not known for other events so we have to use these kinds of gimmicks so people find out where Uruguay is and what it has to offer," said INAC's vice president, Fernando Perez Abella.

(Reporting by Conrado Hornos; writing by Hilary Burke, editing by Todd Eastham)

if you want to be happy for the rest of your life ...

Call me naive -- but I know a few relationships where the men are hot and evolved. Scratch that. Call me lucky, because my man is hot and evolved.
Why Beautiful Women Marry Less Attractive Men
Jeanna Bryner
LiveScience Staff Writer
Thu Apr 10, 11:25 AM ET

Women seeking a lifelong mate might do well to choose the guy a notch below them in the looks category. New research reveals couples in which the wife is better looking than her husband are more positive and supportive than other match-ups.

The reason, researchers suspect, is that men place great value on beauty, whereas women are more interested in having a supportive husband.

Researchers admit that looks are subjective, but studies show there are some universal standards, including large eyes, "baby face" features, symmetric faces, so-called average faces, and specific waist-hip ratios in men versus women.

Past research has shown that individuals with comparable stunning looks are attracted to each other and once they hook up they report greater relationship satisfaction. These studies, however, are mainly based on new couples, showing that absolute beauty is important in the earliest stages of couple-hood, said lead researcher James McNulty of the University of Tennessee. But the role of physical attractiveness in well-established partnerships, such as marriage, is somewhat of a mystery.

The new study, published in the February issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals looks continue to matter beyond that initial attraction, though in a different way.

Supportive spouses
McNulty's team assessed 82 couples who had married within the previous six months and had been together for nearly three years prior to tying the knot. Participants were on average in their early to mid-20s.

Researchers videotaped as each spouse discussed with their partner a personal problem for 10 minutes. The tapes were analyzed for whether partners were supportive of spouses' issues, which included goals to eat healthier, to land a new job and to exercise more often.

"A negative husband would've said, 'This is your problem, you deal with it,'" McNulty said, "versus 'Hey, I'm here for you; what do you want me to do?; how can I help you?'"

A group of trained "coders" rated the facial attractiveness of each spouse on a scale from 1 to 10, with the perfect 10 representing the ultimate babe. About a third of the couples had a more attractive wife, a third a more attractive husband and the remaining partners showed matching looks.

Trophy wives
Overall, wives and husbands behaved more positively when the woman was better looking.

The finding "seems very reasonable," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at MIT's Program in Media Arts and Sciences and Sloan School of Management. "Men are very sensitive to women's attractiveness. Women seem to be sensitive to men's height and salary," said Ariely, who was not involved in the recent study.

In couples with more attractive husbands, both partners were less supportive of one another. McNulty suggests wives mirror, in some ways, the level of support they get from husbands.

"The husband who's less physically attractive than his wife is getting something more than maybe he can expect to get," McNulty told LiveScience. "He's getting something better than he's providing at that level. So he's going to work hard to maintain that relationship."

Men who are more attractive than their partners would theoretically have access to partners who are more attractive than their current spouses, McNulty said. The "grass could be greener" mentality could make these men less satisfied and less committed to maintain the marriage.

Physical attractiveness of husbands is not as important to women, the researchers suggest. Rather, wives are looking for supportive husbands, they say.

So it seems the mismatch in looks is actually a perfect match. "Equitable is unlikely to mean the same on every dimension," Ariely said during a telephone interview. "It just means that overall two people make sense together."
10 Things You Didn't Know About You
The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love
The Sex Quiz: Myths, Taboos and Bizarre Facts
Original Story: Why Beautiful Women Marry Less Attractive Men

vendredi, avril 11, 2008

jeudi, avril 10, 2008

happiness is ...

... a five-minute car ride to VONS for greenies.
... belly rubs from four hands at once.
... sleeping in my big green bed.
... smelling all the other dogs who've peed in my front yard.
... inhaling my breakfast and flirting with Leo to see if he'll give me some of his.
... stalking birds on my morning walk. (Why do they fly away instead of playing with me?)
... greeting the kids waiting for school to start.

... Ruby's thumping tail and happy face when we wake up in the morning.

Ruby is a beautiful dog who is even sweeter than she is pretty. She's our smart new four-year-old Flat-Coated Retriever (yes, she's got a puppy cut right now) who came to us via Craigslist. We're in love and glad that she's an official member of the family.

mercredi, avril 02, 2008

killing all the right people

Julia Sugarbaker is the bomb. I never watched Designing Women when it was on, but at some point in college, I caught a lot of episodes on Lifetime. (I also watched plenty of Golden Girls then, too.) I hadn't thought about her in a very long time, until I saw a group called "We Want Designing Women on DVD" on Facebook.

Anyhow, Julia Sugarbaker is one of my favorite TV characters ever. She was an intelligent, assertive, classy woman who could tell you to go to hell so smoothly that you wouldn't know she was doing it until it was too late. She also ranted with the best of them. My favorite Julia rant, Killing All the Right People, comes from my favorite episode, which also includes Mary Jo taking a pro-birth control stance with the school board.
Within a few days, one of Julia's longstanding clients, Imogene Salinger (played by actress/writer Camilla Carr), overhears the plans about the funeral and starts to be hateful in her comments towards Kendall, stating, "As far as I'm concerned, this disease has one thing going for it: it's killing all the right people". This upsets everybody but the hateful comments really sets Julia (whose nickname is "The Terminator") off and in a very strong and heated confrontation, she tells Imogene to leave.

Julia: "Imogene, I'm terribly sorry, I'm going to have to ask you to move your car."
Imogene: "Why?"
Julia: "Because you're leaving!"
Imogene: "What are you talking about?"
Julia: "I'm talking about the only thing worse than all these people who have never had any morals before AIDS are all you holier-than-thou types who think you're exempt from getting it!"
Imogene: "Well, for your information, I am exempt! I haven't lived like these people! And I don't care what you say, Julia Sugarbaker! I believe this is God's punishment for what they've done!"
Suzanne: "Oh, yeah? Then how come lesbians get it less?"
Imogene: "That is not for me to say! I just know that these people are getting what they deserve!"
Julia: "Imogene, get serious! Who do you think you're talking to?! I've known you for 27 years, and all I can say is, if God was giving out sexually transmitted diseases to people as a punishment for sinning, then you would be at the free clinic all the time! And so would the rest of us!"

Suzanne and her mother's friend, Bernice Clifton, also offer their support, echoing Julia's indignation. After insulting Bernice, who deftly insults her right back, Imogene storms out of the store, never to return yelling at Julia "Well, you needn't look forward to anymore of my business in this lifetime!!". As Imogene leaves, Julia points out that her son is excelling in school. Earlier in the episode, she had lied to Imogene to make her happy, saying that he was struggling in chemistry class.

Julia (shouting outside): "Wonderful, I'll close up your account! And another thing, my son has an A in chemistry! In fact, he's making all A's! In everything! Including P.E.!"
After the argument, she slams the door furiously.