Sunday, October 26, 2008

I made it...

Had a fabulous time on my Grand Canyon adventure. Carolyn is still there...boating down the Colorado river and camping on its banks. I am still readjusting to the civilized world but wanted to share a few shots of us on the trip. This is at the start of our trip at Lee's Ferry.


Carolyn just enjoying the ride...


Carolyn body surfing down the Little Colorado River...


Here we are after hiking into the "horizontal waterfall." I will go back over the map and figure out where exactly this is.


And here am I, after the 10 mile hike out of the canyon, taken by a kindly Polish tourist.


If you would like to see all 744 photos I took on the trip (unedited) they are here.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Pam and Carolyn's Excellent Adventure

On Tuesday I am leaving for a week's trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. I am going with my cousin Carolyn for her 70th birthday. She is actually doing the full Canyon, which takes 15 days. When she asked me to go with her, I asked Mike if this was something he would ever want to do (spend 1-2 weeks on a small boat going down the river, including white water rapids, sleep in tents, pee in the river, etc.) his answer was a resounding "no!" So I decided go with her, if only for a week. She is probably the coolest person I have ever met, and undoubtedly the most well traveled. She has been all over the world, to every continent (yes, even Antarctica), so to travel with her will be an honor.

I have had second thoughts about only doing the first half of the trip, mainly because of the fact that I have to hike out of the Grand Canyon. Apparently if you do the whole thing you end up somewhere that a van can pick you up and take you back to Flagstaff. This is the info on the hike out:

"Hiking up to the South Rim on the Bright Angel Trail

The hike from Phantom Ranch to the South Rim is a serious, long (9.7 miles) and strenuous hike. This hike takes you out of one of the deepest canyons in the world with an elevation increase of more than 4500 feet. People almost inevitably underestimate the difficulty of climbing the Bright Angel Trail. Temperatures on the trail can easily reach 110 degrees or more during the summer months. Transport of your personal gear by mule is provided, but you still need to make the hike carrying a daypack holding your water bottles, lunch, camera, etc. The extra weight of your daypack significantly increases the stress and amount of effort exerted. You need to take the time to get into very good physical condition before you begin your trip. The hike to the rim generally takes 6-9 hours. Please Note: This hike should only be undertaken by those in very good physical condition. It is not recommended for anyone in poor general health, who is elderly, has heart or lung disease, is overweight, or is not physically fit. If you have any of these conditions or are unsure whether you are in good enough shape for this hike, we strongly urge you to get your physician's approval for this trip.

Kinda scary, huh? I have been spending a lot of time on the treadmill with the incline ramped all the way up. I am used to spending 12 hours on my feet at work, too, so I guess I am prepared. I have made a couple of trips to REI to purchase all sorts of things I will probably never use again, but hey, this is a once in a lifetime trip (unless it is so fabulous that I insist on taking Mike for his 70th birthday in a few years :-) I even bought a waterproof digital camera to be able to take pictures while we are going over "19 major rapids rated 5 or above on the Grand Canyon scale of 1 to 10."

So, dear readers, I won't be posting for a couple of weeks. Hopefully, when I get back I will have lots to share with you. Early voting doesn't start here until the 20th, so I have instructed Mike, in the event that I drown, fall off a cliff or get bitten by a rattlesnake, to have someone take my voter registration card, pretend to be me and cast my vote for Obama!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

100 more days

Gosh, when I posted a hundred days ago, I couldn't imagine that things could get any worse. Boy was I wrong! There may only be 100 more days of the "current occupant" but the results of his failed policies are going to be with us all for a long time.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Torta della Nonna

We had a small dinner party last night for one of the Hitachi engineers with whom Mike has been working at the PTC.
Hitachi has officially turned the project over to M.D. Anderson and Mr. Nakagawa is returning home to Japan after spending 4 years in Houston. (His next project may be in Milan, so we made him promise to keep Mike in mind as a consultant :-) My mom had given Mike this cookbook for his birthday last month and I used a couple of recipes from it, as well a few old stand-bys. For dessert I decide to make the Torta della Nonna. The crust contains flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, melted butter and olive oil.


It was supposed to be made in a 10" tart pan, but since I don't have one,
I used a 10" springform instead. The bottom crust is pressed into the pan.


The filling is eggs, sugar, lemon zest & juice, fresh ricotta and pine nuts.


The top crust is rolled out and put on very carefully...

baked for 40 minutes...


released from the pan...


and served on a pretty plate.


It was quite tasty, not too sweet or rich, a good thing after braised lamb shanks,
saffron risotto and caramelized brussels sprouts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hey, so it's not Rolling Stone

Mike gets numerous publications in the mail including the ACR Bulletin. He had paged through this issue and said he was getting ready to toss it into the recycle bin when he took another look at the cover. You may recall that we went to the RTOG meeting in Philadelphia last June. While we were there we went to a black tie gala to celebrate its 40th anniversary. Well, most of these photos were taken at the party, including the one in the lower left corner...that's us with our friends Wendy and Julia (I don't know who the dark haired woman on the right is...) There were probably at least 300 people there, so I was excited that we made the cover. Mike has been chair of their Physics committee for at least 15 years...although I like to think it was because we made such a handsome couple :-)


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

One down, 99 to go...

Works in progress that is. I was glad when the lights (and A/C) came back on so I could get back to some projects. I don't really have 99 things in the works...but at least 9, and fabric/yarn/embroidery kits for at least 90 more. I finally finished putting the binding on this quilt. I wanted to use my usual technique of hanging it on the clothesline to photograph, but wait, I don't have a clothesline since the maple tree is gone. So here it is on the kitchen table.

The problem with quilts on the table (other than the whole spillage issue) is cats on the table. They think that any place with a quilt is a place for a cat.

I sewed one of my cute labels into the binding. I know...I am so easily amused :-)

Speaking of the labels, I received this email from them today...20% off everything!

Go to to take 20% off all items in the store.

Use the coupon code octobersale on the final summary page when you check out. Make sure you enter it in all lowercase letters.

This coupon expires Friday, October 10, 2008 at midnight EST. This coupon can only be used once per customer. Coupon can not be used retroactively for orders purchased prior to this sale. Coupon is only valid for web orders and can not be used over the phone or by mail.

For questions, Please call us at 800-241-2890

Friday, October 3, 2008

Are YOU registered to vote?

My daughter, Kate, posted this on her blog and I was just going to post a link, but it is so good that I decided to post it myself. Watch it all the way's great!