Thursday, January 26, 2012


SoundHound works. It kicks Shazam to the corner and back. Not only does it identify the music quickly and accurately, it is content rich - including lyrics. And it’s free!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Still Wish...

I first wrote and posted this piece in 2007. My feelings have not changed. I believe it bears repeating and more so this year after extensive political wrangling to get not just abortion, but most forms of contraception outlawed in this country. Of course the balance on the Supreme Court remains key to this issue. Which means the upcoming presidential election is vital as well.

Today is the 39th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court Decision known as Roe v. Wade.

In light of this anniversary I have a few wishes to state:

- I wish, that from this moment on, no woman would ever have to make the decision to have an abortion.
- I wish contraceptives, including the morning after pill, would always be readily available to all women.
- I wish that all young people would be taught age appropriate sex and health education.
- I wish that all young people would be taught that abstinence is a legitimate choice, at the same time they get clear information about all forms of contraception.
- And I wish that abortion would always be safe and legal and available to all women.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012



SOPA - the Stop Online Piracy Act - is a mess.
The US House of Representatives bill has a catchy title. Who isn’t against online piracy - other than, well, pirates, right? The problem is it is a hodgepodge; a catchall written by power brokers and it is far too wide reaching. It is a huge blanket of censorship being thrown over the entire internet, with the potential to smother all the individual voices.

If SOPA passes, we will lose the individual and collective power of the independent voices of the internet.
If SOPA passes, we’re screwed.

Learn more - - - while you still can!

“Stop Sopa or the web really will go dark” by Dan Gillmor

Why is Wikipedia going dark on January 18, 2012?
(Go ahead and try to visit Wikipedia on January 18th and see what that feels like.)

Understanding SOPA

The Stop SOPA on-line petition and action page

psssst... Do Something!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Moment

Yesterday we drove down to Rhode Island for the first time since Christmas. We visited with my Mom as well as Al, Carrie and Isabella Rose. Izzy is in constant motion now. She has graduated from walking while holding on to two hands, to holding on to only one hand! (Racing down the hallway with her, while bent over holding her little hand, is a chiropractor’s dream scenario!) She is also saying “Hi!” for both hello and goodbye - rather like one uses Aloha or Shalom!

Because of her bottomless energy, most of my photographs of Bella are now quite blurry. This quiet moment on Uncle Chuck, examining his Lapis Lazuli beads, was a beautiful exception.

In other family baby news, our niece Kate’s pregnancy is progressing smoothly (Yes, I am knocking on wood!). And she is the only pregnant woman I have ever known who grows lovelier by the month. Kate, her husband Phil and the entire extended family are excitedly awaiting the arrival of Isabella’s cousin Finn, sometime in February!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Smoky Goodness

Chuck and I first tasted a Chipotle based salsa at a Mexican restaurant in Redmond, Washington many years ago. We were so taken with it, we asked the staff about it. Then we went off in search of some wonderfully smoky Chipotle sauce. We tried several, but eventually settled on Tabasco Chipotle. We love it so much we travel with it! We also use McCormick dried Chipotle. I use the Tabasco and the McCormick in all sorts of dishes, not just Mexican inspired ones.

On the other hand, I’ve always been unimpressed by paprika. I am especially opposed to the “decorative” use of paprika - sprinkled over deviled eggs for example. Sorry, but it always reminds me of red chalk dust. Recently I began to read about smoked paprika. Now that sounded intriguing. I decided to give it a whirl. I found a tin at Whole Foods. It was pure chance that I chose the exquisite La Vera Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika from Safinter. It was a revelation! It imparts a fabulous smoky depth comparable to Chipotle but with more distinct red pepper flavor - plus it’s more versatile than Chipotle. I love it! I may even consider dusting it over a deviled egg...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thank You TJ’s

For several weeks we have been devoting a great deal of time and energy to helping Chuck’s elderly aunt. Working with hospice has been of clear benefit to Tanta and a blessing to us. Every life is complex and complicated; Tanta’s no less than anyone else’s. We are wending our way through a life’s maze built on privacy and filled with explicit and sometimes contradictory requests and desires. We are learning a great deal. We are sad. And we are weary.

Ever since Trader Joe’s has been doing their “bring your own bag, fill out a ticket” raffle we have been faithfully filling out tickets. This has been going on for years. We have written our name and phone number on tickets and slips all over Massachusetts, in Rhode Island and out in Washington state. Week after week some other lucky TJ’s customer has won. That’s why we were so delighted to receive a phone call telling us that we had won the bring your own bag raffle! Several days ago we came home after a very long day on the road and being with Tanta, to see the red light on our answering machine flashing and four messages waiting for us. Three were about Chuck’s aunt. The last was a cheery message from a gal named Leslie in Shrewsbury saying we had won a $25.00 Trader Joe’s gift certificate! We listened to it twice and high-fived each other to boot!

Tonight, on our way home from Tanta’s, we stopped at the Trader Joe’s on Route 9 in Shrewsbury and picked up our gift certificate. Chuck couldn’t resist snapping this photograph. The gift certificate was a welcome treat; our names on the sign such good fun. And exactly what we needed right now.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We’re Zipping Down The Rabbit Hole Again Folks

Living this close to the state of New Hampshire, just before the presidential primaries, means we are inundated with political ads. This is not my favorite season. I keep my finger on the mute button and much of the time manage to simply tune out the unrelenting blathering buzz. But recently Massachusetts’ former governor Willard Mitt Romney began running an ad which penetrated - gall can do that you know. In the television ad Republican Romney calls President Obama “pessimistic”. Pessimistic? Really? REALLY? “Yes We Can” and “Hope” are now classified as pessimistic?

These people really will say anything to get elected.
And we still have to slog through eleven more months of this.

You can click the link to see the Romney ad ironically/oddly/head-shakingly titled American Optimism. Brace yourself and do watch out for the funhouse mirrors.