Shoutout to Sandlot: Retooling to Produce Masks

This morning I received an email from our local Managing Director of the law firm I work for. We’ve all been working from home officially since last Wednesday (I have been since the afternoon of March 16th). She shared the following information about her nephew’s company, Sandlot Goods.

In this time of uncertainty many of us are asking is there anything we can do to help those that are on the front line fighting the coronavirus. I wanted to make you aware of a local company, Sandlot Goods, that received a grant from the Kauffman Foundation to begin producing masks. Sandlot Goods is a locally owned KC company that typically produces handsewn leather goods that are really cool, but in response to the crisis is converting their production lines. Their goal is to produce 12,000 masks in week 1.


You can help in three ways:

  • Share this message and the link below on social media;
  • Donate money to help cover the costs;
  • Sign up to sew at home

Learn more via this link: https://sandlotgoods.com/


I donated enough to support creating two dozen masks towards the Million Mask May Day campaign. And I’m blogging and sharing this message today.

Join me in supporting this local Kansas City company doing it’s part to make us all safer and healthier.

Recipe Review: Oatmeal Sandwich Bread (5 stars)

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

Take One

On my sixth day of self-exile in my own home, and several sourdough loaves later, I wanted to try something different. My lazy self, before the world turned upside-down, would buy a loaf of Pepperidge Farm Oatmeal bread once or twice a month. Baking bread, especially sourdough, isn’t onerous (Thank you Lord for my bread machine!) but does require you set aside the time necessary to manage the process. It doesn’t require a lot of brain cycles, but in my previously ‘normal’ routine, starting bread after six o’clock at night meant being up past my bedtime before it was done and cool enough to bag. Weekends were usually spent running errands, volunteering, shopping, visiting friends and relatives or attending events. For the foreseeable future, my bread machine and I are going to be BFFs!

Continue reading “Recipe Review: Oatmeal Sandwich Bread (5 stars)”

Real, Irrational and Never Ending

Pi Party Booth from MidAmeriCon II

If today is really Pi Day, it would never end.

I own a coffee mug that I only use to drink hot tea (or water) out of at work. Most of the time it’s a light-absorbing black nondescript mug hiding in my overhead cabinet above my desk. Yet each workday, shortly after I arrive, I grab some tea and pour in some hot water and my morning transforms as the heat transfers to the mug and a bright red cup appears with the following image greeting me:

Why is Pi so lucky in love?
— Because its love is infinite and non-repeating.

In an effort to celebrate international “Pi Day” today, I thought about scheduling this post for 15:09:26 (central time zone) this afternoon – 3.14.15.09.26. But I’m too impatient for that so you will get this post much earlier in the day on Saturday the 14th of March, 2020. I got this idea from a WikiHow post on how to celebrate Pi Day and here’s the relevant excerpt:


Celebrate at 1:59 PM on Pi Day. This time represents the next three digits of pi: 3.14159. Take a minute to acknowledge pi in whatever way you see fit at that moment During this minute, you can cheer wildly, or even have a countdown leading up to “pi minute” the minute before.

  • For added effect for a countdown, have a “pi drop” where you drop a big pie off a balcony or another elevated structure. You can even add a lot of sprinkles to the pie to make it look like a disco ball.
  • If you’ve written a pi song or made a pi dance, this would be the perfect minute to share your art.
  • Note that there is some debate regarding the exact time that Pi Day should be celebrated. Though 1:59PM is probably the most common, some believe that the 24-hour clock should be used instead, which would mean that Pi Day should be celebrated at 1:59AM or 15:09PM.

Sadly for my family, I won’t be making any pies today. I might make some sourdough bread (in rounds of course) and possibly a diabetic-friendly round cheesecake for my visiting uncle. Which reminds me, I need to feed my soudough starter.

In parting, I will share on of my update statuses I occasionally post on my work Skype, where I share snarky, nerdy computer, math or tech one-liners. One of my absolute favorites is:

My password is the last sixteen digits of π.


Oh! I almost forgot. Not uncoincidentally, one of my real world book clubs is reading Life of Pi this month! Shocking how these things just randomly and irrationally align (or collide) when a math nerd is instrumental in determining what to read when.

Happy

π

Day!

Hugo Hiatus

Two people I know in real life are traveling down under this spring, to New Zealand, not to attend WorldCon, home of the Hugo Awards ceremony, but just for vacations. Although, I wonder if their plans have changed since I last spoke or saw them over two months ago now. Much ado about something is occurring everywhere now, but don’t even compare it to 1918. Regardless, a trip to New Zealand would check off two items on my bucket list: 1) to see the Southern Hemisphere’s night sky (stars and constellations I cannot see from 39 degrees north latitude) and 2) to visit the closest thing to Middle-earth on this Earth.

Continue reading “Hugo Hiatus”

At the Cross-Roads

Cover of The Lord of the Rings A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull

My monthly Tolkien reading yesterday from A Reader’s Companion by Hammond and Scull took me on a journey into the ancient past, both in Tolkien’s Legendarium and in our own world. The rise and fall of empires; the hubris of man and his futile pursuit of immortality; the triumph of time over all things . . . all of this from a few lines of a two hundred year old poem about a three thousand years dead king.

It all started with a note (p. 485) referencing this passage in Chapter 7 Journey to the Cross-Roads in Book Four of The Lord of the Rings:

Continue reading “At the Cross-Roads”

Puppy Treat Love

3-Ingredient
Home-Made
Dog Treats

When my daughter came to visit over the Christmas and New Year holidays, I made several trips to Trader Joe’s to purchase food she could eat without having an adverse reaction (she’s allergic to corn). While I was there I bought a box of peanut butter dog treats for Lexy. By the middle of January, we’d given Lexy all the treats from that box. I decided that since I’ve been making her dog food for a couple of months now, I might as well make her treats. That way, I control the ingredients and it’s also fun.

I searched for a peanut butter dog biscuit recipe and found several but one in particular caught my eye – a peanut butter pumpkin recipe. I was intrigued because our vet had us give Porthos pumpkin with his food whenever he had diarrhea. Apparently, pumpkin and chicken are easy for them to digest so that’s what Porthos ate for a couple of weeks last year until his tummy settled down.

I reviewed a half dozen recipes, most of which were just three simple ingredients – oats, pumpkin and peanut butter. Among the other items purchased at Trader Joe’s, I found myself with a couple of cans of organic pumpkin. So I added oats and peanut butter to my grocery list and came home with enough to make a large batch of this recipe I found among my dog treat search results: https://www.rachaelrayshow.com/recipes/peanut-butter-dog-treats-with-pumpkin-susan-holmes-mckagan

Click on image for album.

Please be VERY CAREFUL which peanut butter you give your dog – it must NOT contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Most Natural peanut butters are xylitol free but double-check the ingredients to be safe.

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/paws-xylitol-its-dangerous-dogs
Continue reading “Puppy Treat Love”

Arias and Ales

My daughter, Rachelle, was interviewed, along with other members of the Seattle Opera on Tap chapter, by a local news station at one of their monthly performances.

Rachelle hosted the January 23rd event, billed as “Head in the Clouds” at the Cloud Room on Capitol Hill for “a program featuring the thinkers, dreamers, and maybe a few space cadets.”


Rachelle Moss, Contralto

For the last five years, Rachelle has participated, promoted and organized many of the monthly outings for the Seattle chapter of Opera on Tap. Previously, while studying for her Masters in Vocal Performance, she joined the North Texas Opera on Tap chapter there in Denton.


To learn more about Opera on Tap (OOT), please visit their website and find a chapter near you so you too can enjoy an aria over your ale.

Mars Slides Behind Moon This Month

In mid-February, a waning crescent Moon glides among Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the predawn sky. For many viewers in North America, the Moon actually covers Mars on February 18th.
Sky & Telescope

It’s fitting that with my intense focus on Malacandra throughout January that upon finishing the Mythgard Academy class this week I have a major astronomical event featuring Mars to look forward to in less than two weeks.

I can take good advantage of this occultation since I live in the middle of the country just shy of 40 degrees north latitude. If I were visiting my daughter in the Pacific Northwest, I’d have a bit more dark time but might not see it as well being at a more northern latitude at 47 degrees.

Image via IOTA. See the loop at the upper right above North America? As the moon rises in the predawn hours on February 18, 2020, in this part of the world, Mars will covered over by the moon. But, later on before dawn, you can watch Mars reappear from behind the moon’s dark side. Read more.

Actually, not just Mars will be in the spotlight in mid-February. Three planets are center stage in the predawn skies starting February 18th (see first graphic above). Listen to Sky Tour courtesy Sky & Telescope for some viewing tips and other astronomical tidbits for February observing.

Sky Tour Podcast for February 2020

My only concern will be the weather, which in February in Kansas, is dodgy at best.

Keeping my fingers crossed and as always keep looking up!

And Hnau For Something Completely Different . . .

I only had three chapters to read last week in Out of the Silent Planet. I should have listened closer or reread it in the print edition because the discussion covered things that hadn’t occurred to me. But that’s the fun of taking a class like this. Digging deeper and looking at the story from different perspectives.


Waiting for Corey to Join the Webinar

Joined webinar at 8:53 PM 

Waiting . . . 8:57 PM 

Still waiting . . . 9:05 PM 

Webinar started at 9:06 PM 

Now waiting on Corey . . . 9:08 PM 

Still no Corey . . . 9:10 PM 

Now starting 9:11 PM 

33 people attending 


YouTube: Out of the Silent Planet: Session 4- All the Hnau Now Crowd Around 


Week 4 

Read: Chapter 16-18 

Date: January 29, 2020 

Welcome back to Mythgard Academy Session 4 of Out of the Silent Planet 

Announcements about regional Moots and MythMoot (four day annual event).  This week we announced Verlyn Flieger will be joining MythMoot.  New Book Arthurian Voices (book release party) and wrote a play called “The Bargain” inspired by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (14th century poem).  Corey might be the Green Knight.   

New registration page (pretty bare bones right now).  A custom system written for Signum University. Shifting away from an expensive third-party software.  Don’t be alarmed.   


Corey recaps and sums up from last week.  Let’s see what happens when Ransom starts to encounter the other species.

    Continue reading “And Hnau For Something Completely Different . . .”

Hman HRansom Among Hnau Hrossa

Lewis Pokes Fun at Oxford Philologists

I’ve reached the point of hknow return in this third week of a five week course on Out of the Silent Planet led by Corey Olsen through the Mythgard Academy arm of Signum University. Please parden my use of a hnot-so-silent “H” throughout this post in honor of Lewis foray into the philological hrealm usually hrelegated to his fellow Inkling Tolkien. For my hnotes from week one and week two, please click on the appropriate week to return to those posts.

I’m listening via Hoopla Digital

I had hoped to publish this Thursday night, but the video for this week’s class has not yet been uploaded to Signum University’s Youtube channel. So I will hold off on publication until Friday evening or Saturday morning.

A tweet from @Mythgardian earlier this morning woke me up (at 3:58 am Central) but I was happy to see the video for session three had finally been posted. Now I can finally publish this post!


Joined webinar at 8:38 pm
Waiting . . . still at 9:04 pm
Starting at 9:12 pm
Waiting for Corey now still at 9:15 pm 

Starting now at 9:18 pm 


Week 3 

Read: Chapter 11-15 

 Date: January 22, 2020 

This is one of his two favorite bits of this book – Meeting the Hrossa.  We are going to try to go from his first meeting of this whole interlude all the way to the parting from the Hrossa.   

Week 3 ~ Hross and Hman

Announcements:  

Upcoming Moots:  

Three open for registration:  

  • TexMoot on 8th of February in Houston 
  • Early bird registration for MythMoot VII “Defying and Defining the Darkness”; CFP should be out soon.   
  • SoCalMoot hosted at Netflix HQ 

MootCast is being done again this year for MythMoot.  Live access to any session you want to be in; you get recordings for everything; a wonderful way to participate and watch even if you can’t make it.   

Continue reading “Hman HRansom Among Hnau Hrossa”