Thursday, March 27, 2008

Vegetarian Tacos with Jicama Tortilla

Here is the winning recipe from the quick fire challenge on Top Chef last night. Not only is it vegan but it's raw. The winning dish was created by Richard Blaise.

Vegetarian Tacos with Jicama Tortilla

1 jicama, sliced super thin (use slicer)
1 avocado, mashed
1 tomato, diced
1 papaya, diced, mashed
1T coriander, cracked
1t cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped (reserve chopped stems)
Drizzle of olive oil
key lime and lime, juiced

Season jicama, avocado, tomato and papaya with spices, cilantro and olive oil; drizzle with key lime and lime juices. Roll into “faux” tacos. Plate rolled tacos and season top with cilantro stems.

Bush Library

Lewis E. Calver, an illustrator who was inspired by Molly Ivins and Ann Richards has won the Chronicle of Higher Education's Bush Library contest. This isn't for the actual library that will be built on the SMU campus, obviously. This design had to be drawn on the back of an envelope.

Here are a few quotes about the design from Calver:

“I liked the idea of a false facade showing the White House so people who still believe in his presidency can at least have some kind of inspiration, even if it’s false inspiration”

About the reflecting pool: “When people look down, they will see reflections of themselves and be reminded that the ones who voted for him were ultimately responsible. I've always felt that as much as you might want to blame George Bush or Karl Rove or anyone else for the disaster of the presidency, the real people to blame were the voters who were duped.”

For more on his winning entry and some of the other entries see:


Here is a link to a nifty site that traces the growth of Walmart from 1962 to 2007.

Last night, Walmart was named "Worst Person in the World" on Countdown with Keith Olbermann, because of their suit to recover $470,000 in medical expenses they had paid to a former employee. Debbie Shank, the employee, was in an accident 8 years ago and left with severe brain damage and in a wheelchair. Her family sued the trucking company that caused the accident and after lawyer fees received $417,000 which was placed in a trust for her long-term nursing home care. Walmart legally sued her for the money they had paid for her medical care and won. It's all in the fine print apparently. A week after the Shank family lost their final appeal, their 18 year old son was killed in Iraq.
Walmart had net sales of of $90 billion in the third quarter of 2007. Certainly an exception could be made in this case. It would also be great publicity for a company that has gotten a lot of bad publicity in the last few years to allow the Shank family keep the money.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Cleaning #30: Take a Load Off Our Drives

I didn't have anything on the S drive so I put a file on it and then removed it as instructed. I looked at the P and S drives. I didn't have anything on either of these. I removed everything I could on the Z drive, which was just about everything. I went through the pictures and removed most of those too. I don't have a lot of things stored on the computer here at work, so I suppose I am more organized than I thought.

Stuff White People Like (The Book)

What happens when your blog has over 18 million hits? You get a book deal. Christian Lander, the author of the blog Stuff White People Like has signed with Random House for a book, which will be released in August. It will feature some material from the blog but most will be new content. Christian promises to keep updating the blog too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Perfect Ticket

I have thought since the beginning of the race that a perfect presidential ticket would be one with Obama and Richardson. With Richardson's endorsement of Obama yesterday this dream ticket seems quite possible. Before this happens though, Obama must win the nomination and Richardson's superdelegate status can only help, not only with his own vote, but with his influence on other superdelegates. The fact that Richardson is this country's only Hispanic governor may also be a factor in the remaining primaries, at the convention, and in the general election. I only wish he had endorsed Obama before the Texas primary.
One major criticism of Obama from the Clinton camp and from the republicans is Obama's lack of experience, especially in foreign policy. Having Richardson on the ticket should put an end to this criticism. I know it won't, but it should. Richardson has served as ambassador to the United Nations, and as energy secretary under Clinton, and has been on numerous diplomatic missions all over the world. He has a long list of credentials too many to name, and of the 4 major Democratic candidates (O, HRC, E, and R), the only one who promised to get all of out troops out of Iraq in 2009 if elected.
I'm hoping his endorsement will influence others such as Edwards to support Obama and that HRC will see that the time has come for her to drop out. I know this won't happen either. She would rather tear down the party, and the most inspirational leader since JFK, than concede.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I found this really cool site which will search your favorite blogs and read them to you. I tried stuffwhitepeoplelike and then I typed in my blog address and was able to listen to both.

I think there is a way to put a widget on your blog so that a person can click on it and listen but I haven't figured that out yet. OK. I just figured it out and put it on the right side of the screen.


I always loved Easter as a child. It was the one holiday that my mother and sister and I spent with my mother's family in Robstown, TX. Our mother would usually take us out of school early and we would drive there getting into Robstown just in time to stop at Snapkas for the best hamburgers in the world. I also loved dying Easter eggs and hunting for eggs and candy on Easter morning. Going to church was a big deal too and we always had a special Easter dress, new patent leather shoes, and when I was really little, a bonnet.

Here are some ways to make natural dyes for eggs that I found on Planet Green. This would be much more fun than just using the dyes out of bottles that we used when I was a child.

Red: Beets, cranberries
Orange: Outer skins of onions
Light Yellow: Carrot tops, orange or lemon peels
Dark Yellow: Turmeric
Blue: Blueberries, red cabbage leaves
Beige or brown: Coffee or tea

You can make the dyes by boiling the ingredients in water with a little vinegar. If you put a little vegetable oil in the dye you get a marbled effect.

Anyone my age should have no trouble identifying the family in the picture.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bush's War Turns 5

The Iraqi war will be 5 years old on March 19th. Here are a few of the costs in money and in lives lost:
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that the war in Iraq costs up to 9 billion per month. That's on top of the $13 billion spent on the initial deployment.
Here is a summary of the costs:
Initial deployment of troops: $9 billion to $13 billion
Conducting the war: $6 billion to $9 billion per month
Returning forces to US: $5 billion to $7 billion
Temporary occupation of Iraq: $1 billion to $4 billion per month

Almost 4,000 American soldiers and over 1,000,000 Iraqi citizens have died as a result of the war. There are countless injuries.

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Anyone paying any attention knew there was no connection between 9/11 and Iraq. Bush knew there was no connection and went to war anyway for his own personal reasons. This is just a small part of the price the world is paying for his lies. For more blogs on the 5 year anniversary of the war see

What Houston Has Paid For Bush's Lies

Taxpayers in Houston, Texas have paid $3.7 billion for the Iraq War thus far. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided:
838,527 People with Health Care OR
2,796,369 Homes with Renewable Electricity OR
85,049 Public Safety Officers OR
64,463 Music and Arts Teachers OR
481,255 Scholarships for University Students OR
334 New Elementary Schools OR
43,778 Affordable Housing Units OR
1,577,120 Children with Health Care OR
526,373 Head Start Places for Children OR
68,860 Elementary School Teachers OR
59,011 Port Container Inspectors

This is from

Missing Project Runway

Here is a link to a really cool site where you can design your own dress, pick the fabric, color, and size and have it made and shipped to you.
Every dress I designed ended up costing over $300 so I would never order one but it's pretty fun to play around with anyway. Because of their choice of organic and free trade fabrics the site is popular with brides wanting a green wedding.

Monday, March 17, 2008

March Madness in New Orleans

St. Patrick's day is a pretty big deal in New Orleans with parades and festivities comparable to Mardi Gras. It's also close to St. Joseph's Day and sometimes the festivities are combined.

One of the largest and oldest organizations, The Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Club held their annual parade on Saturday. It began with a pre-parade mass and then a parade up Magazine Street. Riders on the floats throw cabbages to the people along the parade route. There was also a parade in the French Quarter on Friday and today more parades in Metarie and downtown.

Earlier in the month there were also several Italian parades in honor of St. Joseph's day and one Irish-Italian-Islenos Community Parade in Chalmette. There are also elaborate St. Joseph's Day altars set up in churches and in private homes.

A lesser know tradition is Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday held on the Sunday nearest St. Joseph's Day. This is the most important time for the Mardi Gras Indians aside from Mardi Gras day. The various Indian tribes dress in their elaborate costumes and parade in various locations around the city and meet up with other tribes where mock battles are sometimes staged.
These are not my pictures. I wish they were. I haven't been back to New Orleans since sometime in the 90's. I'm glad to see that Katrina didn't destroy all the traditions that make New Orleans such a unique and wonderful place to live or visit.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Baker Shakespeare

Last night I went to see Shakespeare's Richard III at Baker College at Rice. Baker Shakespeare began in 1970 and is Houston's oldest continuous Shakespeare festival. All performances are staged in the Baker Commons with actors and crew from all of the residential colleges.
My friend Alice played Queen Margaret. I have seen her in two other performances at Rice but this was the first time she played a major character and the first time I was able to see how truly talented she is. Alice is the serials cataloger for Fondren Library and when she's not busy working or acting she also plays the piano, sings, and dances.
Here is a description of the play from the Baker website:

"William Shakespeare's Richard the Third dramatizes the rise and fall of one of the most sinister figures in English history, the evil King Richard. Shakespeare uses the occult to finally unhinge his nearly conscience-less villain, but the sinister forces at work infuse all of the players in this political drama with fear and guilt.
A gaping maw in the center of the stage dominates much of the action, a pit marking the boundary between this world and the next, into which all of the characters eventually tumble as they spiral closer and closer to destruction.
One of the most famous histories, this version of Richard the Third disconnects the action from time, leaving it floating between eras as characters remain eerily trapped in an ancient mindset from which they cannot break - until enough mutual hate has focused on Richard to clear away the numerous other vendettas among the characters. An angel of death figure haunts Richard and the stage, showing the blood left in the wake of Richard's relentless ambition. This personal look at the characters of history, the fear in every heart and the blood on every pair of hands, questions the simple dichotomy of blame used throughout the play without forgiving in the least the ruthless murder of brothers, allies, and nephews Richard gleefully orchestrates. A modern look at an old story, this history will come alive and send shivers down your spine."

There will be more performances next week and the tickets are only $10.00. For more information see

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What Dog Breed Are You?

There's a link to a test by Dogster on the right to determine what breed of dog you most resemble. I don't think I'm anything at all like a German Shepherd. I probably have the personality of a lazy fat pug but Shepherd is what I scored.

Jeremiah Wright

I listened to the "controversial" remarks Wright made and while the timing of some of his statements wasn't the best, I disagree with very little he said. A lot of people I know feel the same way and while we don't feel the 9/11 attacks were justified, the loss of life from them is a fraction of the loss of life the US government has inflicted and is still inflicting around the world. There are an estimated 1 million deaths in Iraq alone, most just ordinary people trying to live their lives. Where is the outrage over this? This country bullies the rest of the world and has been doing so for years. We have interfered in the politics and lives of the people of South America, Central America, and the Middle East causing countless deaths. That's all Wright was pointing out. I understand why Obama had to denounce his comments and why Wright had to step down from Obama's African American Religious Leadership Committee. With all the hatefulness spewing from the Clinton campaign he can't afford to be associated with anyone controversial. I hope this doesn't hurt him in the primaries or in the general election if he is the nominee because it will be hard to cast a ballot for any candidate who voted to authorize Bush's crime against the people of Iraq. I will vote for the democratic nominee but I'm afraid many others won't, especially African Americans, because of the racist remarks made by HRC's campaign. It makes me sad and very afraid we will end up with 4 more years of a republican run country, something we can't afford and the rest of the world doesn't deserve.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The dog, the cat, and the rat

A friend sent me the link to this video with this message:

"We can learn a lot from our furry friends. This is a video of a homeless guy in Santa Barbara and his pets. You can see these guys every week working State St. for donations.The animals as you can see are pretty well fed and I can attest to how mellow they are. They are, a family.The man who owns them rigged a harness up for his cat so she wouldn't have to walk so much (like the dog and himself). At some juncture the rat came along and since no one wanted to eat anyone else, the rat started riding with the cat and often, on the cat! The Mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a Christmas card."

Their names are Booger, Kitty, and Mousey, and their human companion is Gregory Pike.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Spring Cleaning #29: Email

I have 5 different email accounts. The 2 that I use the most are my HCPL and my Yahoo accounts. I try to limit my HCPL account to things that are work related but I also get some personal email there, mostly from co-workers at HCPL. I am on several cataloging listservs which accounts for the majority of the email I receive on my HCPL account. I have a folder set up for emails which address cataloging questions and answers. I also have a folder for The Decider's emails that I might need to refer to at a later date. I try to go through all of my email accounts weekly and read what I want to read and get rid of the rest. All of the addresses in my address book at HCPL were deleted when we were upgraded awhile back, so there really isn't a need to clean it out or update it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Cleaning #28: Don't Clutter Up Expensive Cyberspace

Before reading this latest assignment I had never heard of GTD. I may be the only one though, because if you google it you get over 7 million hits. Wired magazine called GTD "a new cult for the info age" and it does seem to have a cult like following which I don't get.

The 5 step process: collect, process, organize, decide, and act has been applied to most of what I do for years and to me is intuitive. I do it everyday with the mail I receive, both snail and electronic. I don't feel I need a system like this at work. I have organized a lot of what I like to read on my bloglines account. I would like to get more organized at home though, which is really just a matter of setting aside some time to work on it. I would like to organize photographs also and possible scan those.

As far as online calendars go, I really don't have any use for those either. I can see the need for them if you have specific assignments or lots of meetings. I have neither. I pretty much do the same thing every week and follow the same schedule. Boring, I know. I have been inspired by all this reading about organization to at least try and tackle a box of papers I have at home that I need to go through.

Crawford (The Movie)

Crawford made it's debut to a packed house at the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) in Austin this weekend. HCPL processing favorite, John Egan, who provided some of the background music for the movie, was in attendance. If you aren't familiar with this documentary, which was directed by David Modigliani, you can watch a clip on the website
or read some reviews at one of the links below.

I love documentaties and am really looking forward to seeing and possibly cataloging Crawford.

Monday, March 10, 2008

London's Newspaper House

It says a lot about the difference between Londoners and Houstonians when we have a house built out of beer cans (see March 7th post) and they have one built out of newspapers. The house was built by Sumer Erek out of 150,000 free discarded papers, rolled into logs. For more pictures and info see:

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Here is a picture I found on Flickr showing LibraryLioness8 and fourdogmom in the Obama crowd on Monday night. We are in the far left corner.

The Internet's Impact on Museums and Libraries

This is from the blog Steven's Lighthouse:

"Institute of Museum and Library Services Director Anne-Imelda Radice released results of InterConnections: A National Study of Users and Potential Users of Online Information March 6 at the 9th annual WebWise Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World in Miami. This new report offers insight into the ways people search for information in the online age, and how this impacts the ways they interact with public libraries and museums, both online and in person.
“Museums and libraries are alive and well in the digital world!” Radice said. “The InterConnections report shows how people currently search for information and makes the case that the libraries and museums must provide service both online and in person.”
IMLS sponsored this national study through a cooperative agreement with a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill research team led by José-Marie Griffiths and Donald W. King, recognized leaders in information research. Their findings are based on five surveys of 1,000 to 1,600 adults each that were conducted during 2006. The study found that:
Libraries and museums are the most trusted sources of online information among adults of all ages, education levels, races, and ethnicities. Libraries and museums rank higher in trustworthiness than all other information sources including government, commercial, and private Web sites. The study shows that the public trust of museums and libraries migrates to the online environment.
The explosive growth of information available in the “Information Age” actually whets Americans’ appetite for more information. People search for information in many places and since the use of one source leads to others, museums, public libraries, and the Internet complement each other in this information-rich environment.
The Internet is not replacing in-person visits to libraries and museums and may actually increase onsite use of libraries and museums. There is a positive relationship between Internet use and in-person visits to museums and public libraries.
The InterConnections report provides evidence that public libraries and museums are thriving in the Internet Age as trusted providers of information to people of all ages"
To view the report, please go to

At the end of his entry Stephen said: "Now that's a useful study to quote and spread widely through every library website, and blog, eh?" so that's what I'm doing in this blog entry.

Practice Safe Text

It has always seemed dangerous to me to be on the phone, texting, or listening to music while walking. I see a lot of this when my dogs take me on their walks. After the 2 recent attempted kidnappings in my area I have tried to be even more alert to my surroundings and would never consider any of these activities when out walking. A study in London found that 1 in 10 cellphone users has been hurt walking into things while texting which explains why the post in the picture is padded. It looks pretty silly to me. A better solution would be for people to use a little common sense. I'm not all together sure if this is a true story or a joke. I really hope it's a joke. The title of this entry came from the article and was too clever not to use.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Beer Can House

One of my favorite places in Houston, The Beer Can House, will open tomorrow to the public for the first time since its purchase and restoration by the Orange Show 7 years ago. The Beer Can House was built by John Milkovisch over a period of 20 years from over 50,000 beer cans that he emptied and flattened. I've never been in the house but have driven by many times and always take visitors there. It's located on Malone Street, a few blocks off of Memorial near Bayou Bend. Just roll down your windows and follow the sound of the garlands made of cut beer cans tops and tabs singing in the wind.

Happy Birthday Corn Flake

Today is the birthday of the corn flake. On March 7th, 1897, Dr John Kellogg served up the first corn flakes to patients at his sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. The corn flakes he served were sugarless and tasted nothing like the cornflakes we eat today. His brother Will added sugar to them and marketed them as a breakfast food which caused a fallout between the two brothers.
Today, Kellogg's is the world’s leading producer of cereal, with it products being sold in 180 countries around the world.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Steroid Scandal Rocks Major League Libraries

Here's a link to a humorous article written by Daniel Cohen.

Daniel Cohen is the Special Correspondent for
Information Science and Levity.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fourdogmom meets Barack Obama

Here I am at the Barack Obama event at the George R. Brown on Monday Night. I'm on the front row, first one on the left, holding a camera. Thanks to LibraryLioness8 who found this picture on the Obama website.

Where are they now?

Everybody probably remembers Knut, the baby polar bear that captured the hearts of people all over the world. Now he is one year old, weights 300 pounds, and has 6 inch claws and sharp fangs. Good thing for the Plexiglas separating him from the child in the picture.

Texas Caucus

I voted early and then went to my polling place to caucus last night. Everything was pretty disorganized because it's the first time so many have showed up for this. We all caucused and I decided to stay and see if I could become a delegate. Everybody who stayed became either a delegate or an alternate including me. On March 29th we will all meet downtown and vote again and choose people to go to the convention.. I'm pretty sure I won't be chosen but it will be nice to have the experience anyway.
Sissy Farenthold was there last night and is also one of the delegates from my precinct. For those of you who don't know who she is, here is a little information.
native Texan, graduate of Vassar, one of 3 females in her graduating class from UT Law, ACLU lawyer from 1965-1967, legal aid director Nueces County, ran for several offices and won a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, served with Barbara Jordan as the only 2 women in the legislature at the time, part of the organizing conference for the Texas Women's Political Caucus who then later endorsed her for governor, chair of the National Women's Political Caucus, delegate to the DNC in 1972 and nominated for, and vote on for Vice President of the US at that convention, a first for women, president of Wells College, founder of the Public Leadership Education Network, delegate to the DNC in 1984 and 1988, received the LBJ Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to the Texas Democratic party in 1998, human rights observer in El Salvador, Honduras, South Korea, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, and the former Soviet Union, and, board chair of the Rothko Chapel. Whew!
What an honor to serve as a delegate with her. The picture is of her.

Sound #27: Creating your own Podcast

The dogs and I created a podcast using Gabcast. It was easy to do. I signed up and they gave me a number to call and a channel number. I called from home. I had a little trouble publishing it to my blog but got some help from LS. I'm glad to know how to do this but I will probably never podcast again because I don't like hearing myself speak.
Dog rules from fourdogmom's dogs #1

Barack Obama

LibraryLioness8 and I went to the George R. Brown Convention Center along with about 6,500 other people to see Barack and Michelle Obama. We didn't get there until 6:45 so expected to sit in the back. Because we choose to park in the lot connected to the GRB we were able to wait with about 50 other people inside while everybody else waited outside in the cold, and were the first ones inside the hall where he was speaking. We actually sat on the first row! Right before the event started everyone got up and stood next to the rail so we were only a few feet away from the stage. Michelle Obama Spoke for a few minutes and then introduced her husband. He spoke for about 30 minutes. He is truly inspirational and it is easy to see why he is compared to Kennedy. When he was through speaking, both he and Michelle shook hands with everyone standing by the rail. He shook my hand and spoke to me. I am convinced now more than ever that he is the right person to be our next president.

One Life to Live with Barack Obama

Here is our very own LibraryLioness8 with Renee Goldsberry who plays Evangeline Williamson on One Life to Live. She is a volunteer for Barack Obama and was at the George R. Brown on Monday night where fourdogmom and LibraryLioness8 got to meet her.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Presidential election

As far back as I can remember, Houston has never mattered in a presidential primary or election. The last few weeks, it's practically impossible to go anywhere without running into one of the candidates or a family member. Last week Bill was at the Fiesta close to where I work and today Bill and Chelsea attended church at Lakewood very close to my house. Osteen thanked BC for his service to the country. He doesn't tell members who he thinks they should vote for but does encourage them to vote. I doubt if too many from Lakewood will vote for Siegler in the DA's race. McCain was at Rice last week and Hillary and Obama have spoken in Houston numerous times in the last month. It's very exciting. I hope we aren't forgotten again when the presidential election comes around.
A person I was talking to the other day said she would love to see Condoleeza Rice run for president. I wonder if other people feel this way. I think Rice belongs in prison with Bush and Dick but I didn't say this. At the very least she has shown pretty poor judgement and we've had enough of that for a lifetime.
Another person pointed out the resemblance between Obama and King Tutankhamun and wondered if Obama would move the capital from DC and change our religion if elected. I think he was joking.
Hillary was on SNL last night and was pretty funny. I wish she would be like that more often. Most of the time I don't find her very likable. I'm sure she is but she doesn't come across that way enough.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Stuff White People Like

I discovered the blog Stuff White People Like a few weeks ago and have been laughing at myself ever since. From organic food to natural medicine to threatening to move to Canada, this blog is me. Any doubts, look at entry #53 about dogs. That one is really me. If you're white or if you enjoy making fun of white people check it out.
Today's entry is #79 and is about how all white people have to own at least one expensive piece of furniture designed by a famous architect from the 1930's. They used my all time favorite chair, the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona, as an example. I don't have this chair or any other designer furniture unless you count David Marsh but would love to. If I did own it I would never refer to it as a chair either, as the blog says, but would call it my Mies or something to that effect. Mies, by the way, designed the MFAH, at least the part that we see today. The original building was designed by William Ward Watkin in 1924. In 1953, Mies was commissioned to create a master plan for the museum. He designed two additions which were completed in 1958 and 1974. It's one of only two museums in the world he designed and is one of the most beautiful places in Houston.