Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Catmas And Happy New Purr

When Mother-in-Law called for me to bring my camera, what to my wondering eyes did appear?  It was three puzzled cats, one at a time, with a hat and a beard! Next time, I think I'll give them catnip before we try something like this, but they didn't protest much; they didn't howl or try to scratch, they just made it clear that they wanted the hats off as soon as possible or sooner. I printed a few copies of the picture to distribute as our holiday greeting. It's a silly form of creativity, I suppose, but it's all our own!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Conserving Happiness by Gluing The Tree

Glue, Cannister and Tree
Celebrate A Different Kind of Christmas Story
Last year, I broke the base off a resin Christmas tree with built-in snow globe that, when you wound it up, played a tune while the branches turned. Replacing it probably wouldn't cost much, but I didn't want a replacement; this one had come from my mom. Also it seems wasteful to toss stuff that can be mended. I put the problem off but finally when we hauled out the holiday decor I gifted myself with the problem of how to fix it.
I've had good luck with "Gorilla Glue"; it seems to have most of the virtues of old-school Superglue and few of the disadvantages. But gluing works better when the pieces are clamped together for the glue to cure; how the heck do you clamp a cred to the base?
The solution was to insert the tree into a cardboard oatmeal cylinder. The tips of the tree dug likely into the cardboard to hold its position. I stacked a couple of cans of soup on top, and that proved the force to hold the piece together while the cylinder kept things aligned.
I then let it all sit for a day and cure. The process worked, and the ornament now looks almost new.
I had resisted the impulse to through it away because:
  • It was shiny
  • It moved
  • It played music
  • It was a gift from my mom.
But through this I Learned A Valuable Lesson: a little glue and a little ingenuity can reduce waste and conserve resources. I don't know if that's a traditional Christmas message, but saving an ornament (and a little cash) it may be something to balance against the Gospel Of Consumption.

Beef Stroganoff Soup

Only a little soup left ... want some?

Sunday at Big Al Brewing we had a little soup contest. The mandatory ingrediant was "beef" and there were four entries, ALL of them very tasty! The winner was Kris' Beef Stroganoff soup, and here's the recipe:

Let a handful of dried mushrooms go swimming in a cup of sherry for a day

Get:

  • 1 pound chunk of beef with a bone in it and heavily marbled (noticable fat)
  • 4 medium sized parsnips
  • 1 large sweet Walla Walla onion


Put all the above into cast iron Dutch oven or casserole if you aren't lucky enough to have one.

Cook 4 hours at 300F
Remove from oven
Dredge out bones and gristle
Transfer carmelized veggies and meat to 2nd pot

Add:

  • half cup sherry
  • half tablespoon of marjoram
  • half tablespoon of salt (or to taste)
  • 2 and a half cups water
  • 1 cup sour cream. We used  a Mexican style sour cream from the Savon store in White Center; it has extra flavor!

Simmer for 45 minutes on medium high

You can add a quarter cup of chopped pickles, if you like that in your Stroganoff. We didn't do that this time.

Serve and stand back!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

4freeCLE: Your Free CLE Newsletter! December 16, 2012


4freeCLE: Your Free CLE Newsletter!
December 16, 2012
In This Issue
2012 Webcast CLE
2013 Webcast CLE
On-Demand Recordings
In California
In Massachusetts
In Minnesota
In New York
In Ohio
Past Issues
Web Conference Outside 
Turn an idle hour into CLE credit with your choice of dozens of free recordings, available to you anytime, on-demand!
Learn more at 4freeCLE's On-Demand Page.
Visit our blog
Kychot
Webcast CLEs: Accessible Whereever You Have A Web Connection!
2012 Webcast CLE

Live credit, in many jurisdictions, can be earned in the convenience of your home, office or vacation cabin!
2013 Webcast CLE
Plan Now for 2013!
Why not calendar next year's learning now, to start the year off right!
Find more webcasts at 4freeCLE's Web-Based CLE.

On-Demand CLE 
Computer Lab
Learn What You Need, When You Need It, With On-Demand CLE!
Learn and earn credit on your own schedule!
Find more on-demand programs at 4freeCLE's List of On-Demand CLE.

Lecture
Remember to Bring Business Cards To In-Person CLEs, So You Can Network As You Learn!
In-Person CLEs State-by-State

Most in-person events are great places to meet your colleagues, share experiences and make your interests known. A question prepared ahead of time, if both relevant and succinct,can both address a problem you encounter in practice, and show yourself to the speaker and to the audience as someone worth knowing. A conversation during a break can lead to future opportunities, especially if you are prepared for that conversation!
In-person event are often eligible for credit in multiple states either by application or reciprocity.  
Do you know of an event offering free CLE? Send us information about free CLE and we'll publicize it for free!

Massachusetts
Minnesota
New York
Ohio
Need More By Year-End?
As the year winds down, many professionals face a need to earn credit quickly at little cost. If this is your situation, email the editor and I'll see if I can locate something helpful. If you are able to use online recordings, you should be able to get much of your need satisfied.
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If you are interested in providing free CLE, contact the editor and I'll be happy to help with publicity. I may also have a few ideas for making your program available more widely, based on what I've learned from reviewing more than 1000 (one thousand) free CLE offerings..

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