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Archive for October 2008


October 29th, 2008 — 2:38pm

Dan needed to practice using some new camera equipment so I played model in the park on Saturday. This is my favorite photo from that day:


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Let’s get me out of this skirt!

October 28th, 2008 — 6:19pm

The final episode of the second season of Mad Men aired last Sunday. I would be counting the days until the third season started, but I don’t know when that will be; I only know that it’s Too Long To Wait. This must be how Dan feels about Battlestar Galactica.

Here’s a fantastic SNL sketch starring Jon Hamm, a.k.a Don Draper, which, if you haven’t yet become addicted to Mad Men, might set you on your way:

Don Draper’s Guide to Picking Up Women


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Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole thingy

October 28th, 2008 — 1:38pm

I invented this vegetarian enchilada casserole thingy last week when Henry and I were craving something spicy. It was so good I made it again a few days later!


A dozen (or so) corn tortillas
2 cans of black beans (or equivalent)
A big zucchini, chopped (or other vegetable)
A big onion, chopped
Half a 15 oz can of tomato sauce (or equivalent, whatever you have handy that’s tomato-y)
3 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
grated cheese, quite a bit, whatever kind you like
salt, pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Saute the onion in a saucepan for a while, then add the zucchini and cook till everything starts to soften. Drain one can of beans and add it to the pan, then add the other can UNDRAINED. You want lots of nice moisture. Add the tomato sauce, spices, and salt/pepper. Cook uncovered for a while longer so the veggies are nice and soft.

Butter a big casserole dish and put 4 corn tortillas in it. It’s ok if they overlap in the middle. Pour in about a third of your nice bean/veggie mixture and spread it around, then sprinkle on about a third of the grated cheese. Keep layering, ending with cheese on the very top. (I only had ten tortillas so I broke the last two in half for the last tortilla layer.)

Cover the casserole and bake for, oh, half an hour or so, till beautifully hot and bubbly… let it sit a while, then serve with sour cream, sliced green onions, and a few slices of avocado if you can get your hands on one!

MEATY VERSION: This is actually how I made it the first time, and then I made the vegetarian version so my cousin could have some too :) Replace the drained can of beans with some ground or shredded meat, whatever kind you like. Cook the meat first, then add the onions, etc.

This will serve four hungry people and you might even have leftovers. It would probably be wonderful with some corn or leftover brown rice added, too! Experiment!

4 comments » | Blog, Recipes

The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 6

October 27th, 2008 — 7:54am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 6: Raphael


In the ‘Knight’s Dream’ there is a simple beauty in the pose and grouping of the figures. You can hardly fancy three figures better arranged for the purpose of the subject. There is something inevitable about them, which is the highest praise due to a mastery of design in the art of composition. Raphael’s surpassing gift was in fitting beautiful figures into any given space, so that it seems as though the space had been made to fit the figures, instead of the figures to fit the space.

Here is the painting discussed in this chapter:

The Knight's Dream
The Knight’s Dream

Come back next Monday for chapter 7!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

Our Lustron again

October 24th, 2008 — 10:04pm

Rick from contacted me tonight to ask if he could post our wonderful series of Lustron construction photos on his site. So cool! “Our” Lustron is third down on this page (or if it’s not third down anymore, look for the caption that says “Davenport, Iowa, Shortly After Construction in 1949”) and from there you can follow the link to the whole series of color photos showing the construction of my grandparents’ Lustron in 1949.

Rick even added some helpful explanatory captions. I guess color photos of a Lustron being constructed are probably pretty rare. I can only imagine the excitement of a Lustron enthusiast on seeing them for the first time :) I’m glad Grandpa’s photos are so treasured!

I’ll leave you with a photo of some of the occupants of The Lustron posing next to their new Kaiser Special 4-door in 1950: my grandma, Jean Jacobs; my mom, Sally; and little Susan.

jean, sally, and susan

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Construction of The Lustron, 1949

October 23rd, 2008 — 11:15pm

Tonight Chloe and I started scanning slides and uploading them to our new family photo album at We did 50 slides from 1949 and 1950. We made an entire gallery of photos of the construction of The Lustron, the pre-fab metal house that my grandparents built in 1949. Amazing!

the lustron
(Grandpa Mike Jacobs was a geek, very enthusiastic about exciting new technology!)

The Lustron, completed October 1949

The curly-headed cutie-pie in the ditch is my mom, age 4:

little sal!

By the way, The Lustron still stands. We visited it in 2005:

The Lustron, 2005

The curly-headed cutie-pie in the green shirt is my mom again :)

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The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 5

October 20th, 2008 — 7:47am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 5: The Renaissance


The manner in which this picture is painted is still more suggestive of change than the subject itself. Our artist knew a great deal about the new science of perspective, for instance. One might almost think that, pleased with his new knowledge, he had multiplied the number of objects on the shelves so as to show how well he could foreshorten them. Medieval painters had not troubled about perspective, and were more concerned, as we have seen, to make a pretty pattern of shapes and colours for their pictures. The Van Eycks, as we noted, only acquired the beginnings of an understanding of it, and were very proud of their new knowledge. It was in Italy that all the rules were at last brought to light.

Here are the paintings discussed in this chapter:

St. Jerome in his Study
St. Jerome in his Study

The Nativity
The Nativity

Come back next Monday for chapter 6!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

evening walk

October 18th, 2008 — 8:11pm

Thank you, everyone, for your sympathy for Henry and his sore throat. He’s a little better today, and felt well enough to play World of Warcraft and eat a quesadilla.

Dan and I took a nice brisk walk this evening, and he brought his camera and managed to get a few good pictures of me!

karawalk 7

karawalk 3

karawalk 1

Those are my favorites, and there are a few more up on my flickr. I think my hair looks pretty :)

3 comments » | Blog

Henry’s sick :(

October 17th, 2008 — 4:33pm

Poor Henry woke up with a bad sore throat :( Poor, poor Henry! We’ve been watching the behind-the-scenes appendices from The Two Towers all day.

Because the edging instructions for my Leftover Laceweight Scarf pattern confuse just about everyone, I knit a sample scarf end, worked the edging, took lots of photos and made lots of notes, then re-wrote the edging instructions in my pattern. I hope it helps!


4 comments » | Blog

The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 4

October 13th, 2008 — 7:42am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 4: The Van Eycks


Hubert van Eyck, in attempting to depict the event at the Sepulchre as it might actually have occurred outside the walls of the City of Jerusalem, was doing something quite novel in his day. His picture might almost be called a Bible illustration. It is at least painted in the same practical spirit as that of a man painting an illustration for any other book. It is not a picture meant to help one to pray, or meditate. It does not express any religious idea. It was intended to be the veracious representation of an actual event, shown as, and when, and how it happened, true to the facts so far as Hubert knew them.

Here is the painting discussed in this chapter:

The Three Maries
The Three Maries

Come back next Monday for chapter 5!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

hot, cold, hot, cold

October 12th, 2008 — 10:02am

We’re having crazy October weather. Last week we had a heat wave and it got up to 98 degrees Fahrenheit in our neighborhood (that’s 36.6 Celsius), plus the typical hot dry Santa Ana winds blowing in from the desert. Now we’re having a cold snap — it was 46F (7.7C) outside today when I woke up at 8am, and 66F (18.8C) in the house. The heater even turned on last night for the first time since last winter!

We all hope it stays cold. I love bundling up in my warm woolly clothes and not needing an ice pack to keep my feet cool at night. But since it’s October in San Diego, it’ll probably be 100 degrees next week again.

I’m having mouse problems with my Macbook. Something in the button has broken and it randomly decides that I’m clicking it even when I’m not. It’s more manageable if I never click the button at all, so I’ve got my external mouse hooked up all the time, but I still get the occasional random button click, which can have hilarious or disastrous results! I have to try to remember to park the cursor over a blank area of the screen, not over a “submit” button. Dan can install a new mouse assembly for me (wonderful Dan!), but that means buying one, which is annoying.

I think I never posted about my finished Hermia sweater! I finished it up last week. I absolutely love it! Here are a few photos (which I had to take myself ’cause everyone else was busy):

(real yarn color is brighter)

(this one is pretty close to the true spring-green color)

(I made the sleeves long long long for my gorilla arms. I hate sleeves that are a little too short.)

I used about 5.5 skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece and size 5 and size 2 Knitpicks Harmony wooden circular needles. You can read all about it on its Ravelry Page, or, if you don’t have an account there yet:

I got about 5st/inch and about 6.5 rows/inch, so I cast on for the XS size but am working the neck increases every four rows. And I’m working a few sets of short rows across the back.

Stopped increasing at 162 st (including the 4 CO st under each arm), worked a couple rows, then dec away 2 st from the back under each arm (158 st total).

After working the welt, I increased to 200 stitches for the peplum. I worked the lace pattern 6 times and then worked the hem, splitting the yarn down to 2 plies for the underside of the hem and sewing down the live loops instead of binding off.

Working sleeves flat and simultaneously on one long circular needle with two balls of yarn. A bit awkward but by god they’ll match. Decreased sleeves down to 54 st over the first 12 rows or so, now will work plain for a while.

After 60 rows (to about elbow length), I increased at each side and then again every ten rows to 62 st. Now I just have to knit till they’re long enough…

Ok 126 rows seemed long enough for the sleeves. Then I worked the YO turning row and then the facing with two plies of yarn.

I worked two sets of short rows across the back neck edging, first set at back raglan and second set 6 st back from there. Worked three garter ridges, then cast off on the next RS row, giving the effect of four garter ridges.

Soft and comfy!

1 comment » | Blog, Handmade

A year of audiobooks!!

October 10th, 2008 — 2:14pm

At LibriVox we keep track of the total number of hours of audio that we’ve cataloged. For the last few weeks we’ve been watching as that total climbed up towards 365 days and today, just a few minutes ago, we crossed over the 365 day mark — we now have over a full year of free, volunteer-read, public domain audiobooks for the world to enjoy. Here’s a screenshot of our statistics tracker:

Librivox Catalog Stats

So, start listening now, twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week, and you’ll still be listening on October 10 2009! And by then we’ll have lots more done so you’ll probably never catch up :)

Thank you, LibriVox volunteers! You’re the best!

edit: just after I posted this, another book was completed so we now have 367 days of audio :)

9 comments » | Audiobooks, Blog

The Book of Art for Young People, Chapter 3

October 6th, 2008 — 8:36am

The Book of Art for Young People, by Agnes Ethel Conway and Sir Martin Conway
First published in 1909. Read by Kara Shallenberg.

Chapter 3: Richard II


Our first picture is a portrait of Richard II. on his coronation day in the year 1377, when he was ten years old. It is the earliest one selected, and the eyes of those who see it for the first time will surely look surprised. The jewel-like effect of the sapphire-winged angels and coral-robed Richard against the golden background is not at all what we are accustomed to see. Nowadays it may take some time and a little patience before we can cast ourselves back to the year 1377 and look at the picture with the eyes of the person who painted it. Let us begin with a search for his purpose and meaning at least.

Here is the painting discussed in this chapter:

Richard II
Richard II

Or, see large, beautiful, modern photos of the painting on its wikipedia page:

Come back next Monday for chapter 4!

(Impatient? Get the entire audio book for free here:

Comment » | Audiobooks, Blog

I love this “Banned Books” display!

October 3rd, 2008 — 8:18am

banned books

The Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA, celebrates Banned Books Week! Shocking Literacy! Marvelous. (found this at

According to the American Library Association, more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were:

1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle
8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Read a banned book! How about Huckleberry Finn?

3 comments » | Blog, Books

Hermia is blocking!

October 1st, 2008 — 6:07pm

I finished knitting Hermia yesterday, and she’s blocking now:


(the green is not so dull as it looks in the photo, it’s more springy)

In other news, it was 96 degrees Fahrenheit here today. Good lord. Henry and I sat around and melted all day. I fixed milkshakes for lunch — chocolate ice cream, rice milk, a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter. Yum.

2 comments » | Blog, Handmade

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