Month: September 2008

  • I get quite a few of my recipes from

    And am on their daily email list.  This morning's email included "Cube Steak Parmesan" which is very highly rated, and I do believe I'll be trying it soon.

    Checking the reviews there is someone who did something that simply bugs me to death, and that's make a significant change to the recipe then complain that it didn't turn out properly.  The name of the dish is what?  Cube Steak Parmesan, right?  So this person (who lists herself as "expert" level) subbed round steak, cooked the dish for the specified length of time, then commented "The reason I gave it four stars instead of five is it wasn't as tender as I hoped for."

    Well, duh. 

    I'd have thought an "expert" cook would realize it'd take a good bit longer to cook round steak to tenderness than it does cube steak.  So she used a different cut of meat then knocked off a star because it didn't cook like cube steak.  Sheesh!  e-wallbang

  • Speaking of cars and drivers, this post is hilarious!

    HT: Mom

    From Antique Mommy's blog:  Horns  (as in car)

    Laughed myself sick, so I did. 

    Don was in here when I was reading it, and he told me to Google "aftermarket car horns" and by golly, it turns out one can purchase and install a horn that sounds like a bull bellowing, or a train, or an old-fashioned "OO-GAH!"

    But what I've decided I need is a Horntones FX-550, which is a "mobile audio system that allows you to supplement the sound of your vehicle’s
    horn function using virtually any MP3 audio file.  Using the latest electronic device and communications technology,
    Horntones Audio products provide you with a unique capability to
    personalize your automobile experience with an unlimited variety of
    sound clips."

    Imagine the possibilities!  "That's as green as it gets!"  "This is MY lane!"  "That's one sweet set of wheels" and, for Dmitry upon spotting an Audi, "Hey! You stole my CAR!"

    I want it.  Bless their hearts. 

  • [irritably] If you don't know how to drive, then DON'T.

    And park.  If you can't park properly, don't park at all.  In fact, just stay home and call a cab. 

    Mercy Maud, I was out and about for maybe an hour and a half, tops, and besides getting stuck behind cars creeping along as if they were driving in a blinding snowstorm (instead of sunny and 90 degrees), I went to the Ridglea branch library, which has Very Limited Parking. Aha!  There was a spot up to the right, or so I thought. 



    Yup.  A big ol' SUV essentially hogging two parking spaces because of being over the line.  I left and went to the bank - only a block or so away - to deposit a check then returned.  SUV still there, with the spot next to it still empty, since no one could fit into it (well, I guess a motorcycle could).  There was a space between a couple of pickup trucks on the east side (parallel parking required; no marked spaces) so I snagged that, while behind me came a small car who clearly headed for that spot only to give up and drive to a space on the far west side of the building. As I was entering the library I could see the small car's occupants indignantly glowering at the SUV as they passed by.

    It was still there when I left.  You know, finding a parking place at that particular library has become a problem these days and I know why:  virtually every one of the computers was taken up.  Used to be one mostly went to the library, searched for books, checked out, and departed.  Nowadays people go in, sign on to a computer, and sit like they're glued.  Because they just stay, their parking spots don't get vacated.  I wish the city would purchase the building to the north and knock it down to expand the parking lot.  It's woefully inadequate now.

    However, seeing as how the library's hours are going to be shortened beginning September 28, that doesn't seem likely. 

    Then as I was pulling off Montgomery darned if a red pickup truck didn't suddenly back out of a business's lot, aiming straight for me.  Fortunately there wasn't anyone coming toward me else I'd have had to decide whether to veer left and hit the oncoming car, or maintain course and get whacked by the truck.  My vehicle is a Venture, for pity's sake.  It's not a tiny little compact.  How on earth did that guy not SEE me?  He just didn't pay any attention at all, obviously.

    Scares me to death to think of Dmitry out there one of these days, what with all the crummy drivers.  nervous

  • Remember when Amazon was just books? And discounted books, at that?

    I even remember when one would get freebies in with one's order.  Cheap plastic coffee mug, that sort of thing, as a thank-you-for-ordering gift.  This was ten to twelve years ago, mind.  It's been awhile.

    And that was when they were selling books at a significant discount!  No freebies these days, boy.

    Now it's not only selling books, but toys, groceries, jewelry, music, and the latest....videos on demand.

    I keep reading about how Google is taking over the world.....Google nothing, it's Amazon that is going to become the sole provider of America's goods before too long.

  • That was most interesting!

    This afternoon the phone rang and it was a Mr. Ivy from Waco, who has made an avocation of tracing Ivy lineage over the years.  I don't recall who it was, but someone he knows found this photo of Alex just published in the Military Times (or something like that), of him singing for Friendship Day there in Yokosuka:


    What I don't remember is how he managed to get from that photo to my home phone, but by golly, he did it.  He's pretty sure we meet on the Ivy family tree, over in the Ranger/Cisco area.

    Turns out he spent 24 years in the Navy, and has been in Yokosuka several times.  Small world, huh? 

  • Tell you what, Dad is absolutely IS hard to get accurate information.

    If I've heard him grouse about that once, I've heard him grouse about it a dozen - TWO dozen! - times.  And right he is.  e-browlift

    This afternoon Dmitry and I headed to the DPS office to get him a Texas ID.  Not a driver's license, mind, but an ID.  He really needs one, seeing as how he's 18 and his school doesn't issue school ID's.  Gathered up his Texas birth certificate, SS card, and permanent resident card, then drove to the office close to Carolyn's house.  

    Everything was going fine until the clerk was filling out the voter's registration form (seeing as how we were there, she registered him with the Selective Service, too), when she floored us by saying that if all he has is a permanent residence card, he's not a citizen.  He needs a certificate of citizenship.

    Not a citizen?  But we'd understood from the get-go that as soon as his adoption was final in Russia and he touched down on American soil, he's an American citizen.  Nope, the clerk said.  A PRC doesn't confer citizenship.  We should talk with the INS.  

    Well.  Wasn't that a kick in the head?   e-faint

    After stopping by Kroger's to pick up a dozen roses for Carolyn   - seeing as how we were right by her house, Dmitry thought it'd be nice to drop by with a bouquet for her (I told him she's a lucky girl, indeed, to have him as a boyfriend) -   we came home where I immediately headed back to Don's desk.  He said he'd like to hear that from the INS.

    So I went online and checked.

    HA!  He is so an American citizen, by golly.  Per the Child Citizenship Act of 2000:

    On February 27, 2001, the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 becomes
    effective. The aim of this law, which, among other things, amends
    Section 320 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), is to
    facilitate the automatic acquisition of U.S. citizenship for both
    biological and adopted children of U.S. citizens who are born abroad
    and who do not acquire U.S. citizenship at birth. We are pleased to
    note that, because of this law, U.S. citizenship will be conferred
    automatically upon thousands of children currently in the United States.

    The following are the Act's requirements:

    1. At least one parent of the child is a U.S. citizen, either by birth or naturalization.  (check)
    2. The child is under the age of 18.  (note:  As of Feb. 27, 2001, that is)  (check)
    3. The child must be residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent after having
      been lawfully admitted into this country as an immigrant for lawful permanent residence.  (check)
    4. If the child has been adopted, the adoption must be final.  (check)

    That's him all right.  He's a citizen.  Now, from what I understand if he would like a formal, official Certificate of Citizenship he can get one by filling out a form, sending in documents and almost $500.

    I think we'll just see about getting him a US passport instead. 

    Oh, and wouldn't you know it?  After January 1, 2004  -  or 2 1/2 months after Dmitry arrived home  -  the INS began automatically issuing Certificates of Citizenship instead of Permanent Residence Cards to children adopted abroad.   e-fingers_ears

  • If ONLY he can pass those darn TAKS exams.

    Today I had a brief meeting with one of the teachers at Dmitry's school, going over his transcript and what he needs to graduate.  Seven credits, basically.  She foresaw no problem with him accomplishing this.

    Then I mentioned the TAKS, and her face fell.

    Ummm.  Yes.  Sigh.

    They're going to "strategize" about it, trying to figure out a way for him to get the knowledge in his noggin then immediately take the test.  He can learn stuff short term but it doesn't tend to stick around, you may recall.

    Still, for the nonce we are going to Look On The Bright Side and Think Positive, as it was definitely pleasant to have her tell me to start looking next month for information about senior activities, cap-and-gown stuff, and so on. 

    [wistfully]  Wouldn't it be something if he managed to somehow scrape past those tiresome exams and was able to graduate next spring?

  • You know, I can never decide what to do about this situation.

    I just returned from SuperTarget, where I was displeased to discover that I'd been charged $1.20 more for a package of eight boneless pork chops than the sign in front of them had said.

    When I went to make sure I was right before stomping down to Customer Service to get my 1.20 back, I saw that the date said the sale on that item had run through 9-13.

    So. OTOH, there was definitely a sign saying those chops were on sale, but then the same sign gave the effective dates for the sale.

    I know they'd honor the sale price if I made 'em do it, but I grumpily decided against it (mind, were the C/S counter not to heck and gone down at the opposite end of the store, I might have done it).

    That's the trouble with having worked for years in retail. I'm well aware how difficult it can be to get each and every sign down, and goodness knows a store like Target has a bunch to be switched and changed.

    One could make a case for forcing them to honor the sale price, though, seeing as how this is Monday, and Monday evening to boot, so the sign really ought to have been caught by somebody 'ere now.

  • Oh dear. I'm afraid Dmitry's dire prediction came true.

    Dollars to donuts his beloved Casa del Mar down on the beach in Galveston is ruined, as the Flagship Hotel was destroyed to the east, and down to the west the damage was fierce.  That's a shame, on multiple levels. 

    I remember Mom and Dad taking us to Galveston to stay at the Flagship Inn.  Thought it marvelous, being right out over the Gulf like that!