Sunday, April 26, 2009


As I've mentioned before, I pretty much can't cook. I must have either been feeling brave or I just wasn't thinking... I attempted *two* recipes that were new to me. On the same day :0

Well, it turns out that I can make a kick-ass macaroni salad. Who would have ever guessed that there is *mustard* in macaroni salad???? Definitely not me.

I also tried a new crock pot recipe, tweaked to be vegetarian and to my taste naturally. It turned out OK - I think that the fact I used too many noodles didn't help matters any. The macaroni salad needed four cups and the Cavatini only needed two cups. So of course I put four cups of noodles in the crock pot. I think the recipe should have been *really* good if I put in the right amount of noodles, but for now, I'm just adding some extra spaghetti sauce to balance it out and it's still pretty good.

I also made some of my most awesome coleslaw - yum!

I can't believe how many dishes I used. That's probably a big reason why I don't like to cook - I hate cleaning up the mess all the creating creates. Ugh.


I can't wait to see if Time Warner is going to credit us for the half day that we didn't have internet service today. Even tho' the Rigases were ripping off Adelphia, I was a much happier customer with them. Adelphia was cheaper and the customer service was sooooo much better. If there was an outage, I was able to reach a representative quickly and I had answers. Today's outtage aside, I haven't had great experiences with RoadRunner customer service. Today Time Warner's solution seemed to be to just take the phone off the hook so they wouldn't have to talk to customers. (I realize that their phone service was out too, but come on - they don't have back up systems for their customer service??? They couldn't even put out a pre-recorded message that let the customers know what was going on when they called???)

I also hate that if you want to use the web space they 'give' you, you have to use their pre-formatted web pages. I hate them. They are ugly and there aren't many options to personalize them. I also have to close out all of my tool bars to even use the page because their stupid upload and management tools don't even fit on the screen. I also hate that you can't upload using FTP. I can't direct link to anything I upload. It's a real pain to store anything in 'my space' - which I think is absolutely not very customer/user friendly. I can't do a lot of things that I used to when I had my free-for-all space that Adelphia gave us.

I wish we had another cable company in the area to compete against. In Ohio they have WOW! cable competing against Time Warner. You can get digital cable and internet for $60 there. For $65, they offer the same package I have. I pay over $105 a month for my cable bill. Verizon isn't much better than Time Warner. I would love to see WOW! here.

I'm not holding my breath in hopes of any kind of credit on my next cable bill.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


As much as I wish things were going better, as this story tells, things could be a lot worse.

I feel so bad for this family. I used to live on Tonawanda Creek Road and I am glad I don't any more.

I didn't live very far away from the spot that collapsed in 2004, except I was on the other side of the creek.

I hope that insurance covers everything the family needs to have life get back to normal for them.

I wonder what the neighbors are thinking. I'd be worried.

Monday, April 20, 2009


They say that if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Not much nice has been going on, and I'm sure the world doesn't want to hear about it.

Let's hope things start looking up soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Do you ever have days when you feel invisible? No one listens to anything you say on those days...

Me: "Just to let you know, I've taken care of XYZ."

10 minutes later...

Someone Else: "Has anyone taken care of XYZ?"


Someone Else #1: "Who takes care of entering XYZ?"

Me: "It's not done by our department."

Someone Else #1: "Someone in your department takes care of entering XYZ - who does it?"

Me: "We don't do that."

Someone Else #1: "Who in your department enters XYZ?"

Someone Else #2 (not from my department): "I do that."


Me: "You know, I think XYZ would be a great idea."

Two hours later...

Someone Else: "Hey, don't you think XYZ would be a really good idea?"

Some days I wonder why I even get out of bed. ~sigh~

I am also suffering the wrath of the evicted starlings. I've sealed off the areas in my hallway where the birds want to nest, but they are still hanging around. They've decided to take revenge on the Jillmobile. Keep in mind that my truck was *not* parked under any trees. Pure spite is the only reasonable explanation for seeing this in the morning:

In case you can't pick out all the love they shared with me...

On the bright side, I've finished my brooder. I just need to pick up some bedding and I will be all set for when the baby chicks arrive next month.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Miscellany

Someone needs to invent a smoke alarm that won't let the battery wear down and start chirping incessantly at four-thirty in the morning.

Crockpot potato soup does not freeze well. I thawed out the bit I saved from my Crockpot Experiment. It wasn't so good. The potatoes turned kind of gritty :(

My two cents on chickens and farming in the city:

I say let the Stevens' buy the lots in the city of Buffalo. An urban farm is a great idea for the area. I think it will be a great inspiration for an area that has a reputation for being a scary part of town. If it doesn't work out, the Stevens' had said that they would give the city the first option to buy the property back. How can the city lose? From what I can tell, there isn't even a definite plan or time frame for development of the land. My prediction? They will deny the Stevens' the chance to farm the property and it will remain vacant for at least five years.

As for city chickens - I think it's also a great idea. Before The Disaster, I had chickens for over a year and I have replacement chicks coming next month (I can't wait!). I think that as long as there are clear rules in place, there is no reason for people not to be able to own a few chickens. They are very entertaining, very easy to care for and they lay eggs. I love animals, but I moved from my last house because the neighbors that moved in next door let their dogs bark outside 24 hours a day. Animal control didn't do anything about it and I couldn't take it anymore. I won't even talk about my other neighbor's cat, who liked to use my garden as it's litter box - ugh. Presently my next door neighbors have chickens as well as many people in my area. Chickens don't bother anyone (I'm talking about hens... roosters are on the noisy side - but I like the crowing). If people can't have chickens, they shouldn't be allowed to have dogs or cats either. Here is an excellent article that examines residential urban chicken keeping.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail
is in the top 5 of my all-time favorite movies. I thought this was absolutely brilliant:

Camelot - what a silly place!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

My Bird Wars - Continued

Well, either Tenacious Bird found it's way home or the relatives were waiting for the opportunity to move in. You guessed it - I have starlings back in my hallway :(

This weekend drastic measures will be taken.

On a more fun note...

For those of you who liked this as much as I did:

You're sure to love this!

I would love to be around when one of these 'events' is put into action.

Monday, April 6, 2009


OK - it's April 6th. Yesterday it was 50 degrees outside. I was outside working in my yard, cleaning up my garden. I was (comfortably) changing the oil in my truck. Life was good.

Right now it's 31 degrees out (but feels like 13 degrees - yipee.) and it's snowing.

Um, Yeah.

I can't think of a good segue here, but does anyone find those glittery pictures you always get in forwarded emails as annoying as I do? I think a lot of people must find them cute, because I seem to see and get a lot of them. I don't.

That being said, I found out that glitter text is fun to make :)

So in honor of the weather and glitter things that I don't like:

Glitter Text Generator

Glitter Text Generator

Here's the Glitter Text generator, in case anyone wants to play.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Bird War

Al wrote a post on Bird Wars in which birds seem determined to wipe out mankind.

My Bird War is a bit different. My birds want to move in with me. I have sparrows living in the eaves on the side of my house. I have sparrows - (maybe starlings... I think they pushed the sparrows out) living in the eaves on the front of my house. I have starlings that want to live in my dryer vent. And I have starlings that want to nest in hallway to my back door.

The birds on the side of the house don't bother me. They aren't messy at all and I can watch them from my kitchen window and they are really cute. The ones at the front of the house have to go - their droppings are all over the place. Yuck. Once the weather is nicer and I can get up there they are going to be evicted. I think I solved the dryer vent problem with a bit of hardware cloth - I haven't seen evidence of any successful nesting in the past couple of weeks...

The starling trying to nest in my hallway was the biggest pain. It was very loud in the mornings and every time I walked out of the house, it would put up a big fuss. I thought that if I also put up a big fuss - yelling, banging, etc. - the bird would get the hint and leave, deciding that my hall would not be a good place to live. However, being the tenacious bird it was, it stayed.

Today I caught it. We went for a nice long drive to a big nature park and I released it. That's a picture above of the bugger before I let it go. I'm hoping that it will stay there, deciding that the great outdoors would be a much nicer place to raise a family. Or if it does fly back here, it will be so traumatized that it will stay away from my hallway.

Cross your fingers!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


I grew up in Western New York and the name Ellicott is very familiar: Ellicott Creek, the Ellicott Square Building, Ellicottville, Ellicott Street, the Ellicott Complex at UB... you get the idea. I never really thought about it until today, but all those places must have been named after some Mr. Ellicott. I came across a video about the Holland Land Company today and learned what an important person he was to the Western New York area.

I followed up with some more reading on Joseph Ellicott, and it was all pretty interesting - among other things, he was the person that actually standardized the 12-inch ruler in the U.S. Why didn't they teach about this stuff when I was in school? We learned about Chinese dynasties and Medieval Europe - I think it would have been nice to include a section on local history. I wouldn't feel so stupid about not already knowing the stuff I learned today.

The Holland Land Company original building is still in existence. It's in Batavia and used as the Holland Land Office Museum. I've driven past it many times on my way to visit my sister. I'm going to make a point of visiting next time I'm out that way.

Here's the video I saw that started out my history lesson today. It's a little long, but it's so interesting, I didn't even notice!

I also want to mention that I ordered some more stamps online. Last time I ordered stamps this way, it took almost a week for them to get to my house. The stamps I ordered Wednesday night arrived in my mailbox this morning! What a difference :)

Friday, April 3, 2009


Things have been such a mess for me lately, I need to change things up a bit for myself. One of the things I wanted to do is freshen up my blog.

I looked at what seems like millions of templates to find one that I liked and worked right. I still have some things I want to tweak, but for the most part I'm happy with what I ended up with.

I learned that Firefox is way smarter at making a layout look good than IE is.

One thing that perplexes me - and it always has - are the links that a lot of templates have to navigate you to newer and older posts. Why is it always like this:

click for newer post <--- you are here ---> click for older post

When this makes much more sense:

click for older post <--- you are here ---> click for newer post

I don't get it... we read from the left, with new information to be read at the right. It just always feels wrong to click on the right to go to an older place. I've seen this in a couple other places too. I really don't get it.

This template doesn't have that feature - I guess the archive list is supposed to substitute, but that's fine with me... I like everything else!