Jul 31, 2012

Cheeses of the World - Part Two
Processed Cheese

You know, it's the little things that make a marriage work, and today's little thing is caving in to my husband's request that today's cheese post be about "Wendy's cheddar cheese goo that they put on a Baconator®. The bestest cheese ever." Oh, my dear husband. You are about to be sadly disappointed.

There is no magical cheese goo on the Baconator®. It's just a plain old processed cheese slice.

From the official Wendy's site I have the full ingredients list:

Hamburger Patties - Ground Beef. Seasoned with salt.
Processed Cheese Slice - Cheese (milk, modified milk ingredients, bacterial culture, salt, rennet and/or microbial enzyme, calcium chloride, lipase, colour), modified milk ingredients, water, glucose, sodium citrate and/or sodium phosphate, salt, acetic acid, sorbic acid, soya lecithin, carboxymethylcellulose, colour. May contain citric acid.
Applewood Smoked Bacon (6 strips)
Premium butter toasted bun.
Optional ingredients include: mustard, crinkle cut pickles, red onion, tomatoes, and lettuce.

So, now that I've shattered my husband's illusions, let's take a look at processed cheese.

Sometimes known as American cheese, processed cheese is typically made from a blend of cheeses, most often Colby and Cheddar. These natural cheeses are shredded, heated, and reprocessed with extra salts, food colorings, emulsifiers, and whey, and then packed as slices, blocks, or in jars. It's cheaper and has a longer shelf life than natural cheese. Because of the processing and additives, many countries refuse to allow it to be labeled as cheese, instead calling it cheese food, cheese spread, or cheese product.

Walter Gerber and Fritz Stettler were the first to process cheese in Switzerland in 1911. The cheese was shredded and heated with sodium citrate to produce a consistent product which firmed up upon cooling. The initial reason for this was to increase the shelf-life of cheese that was shipped to warmer climates.

Around the same time, James Lewis Kraft was experimenting with the heating and blending of different cheeses and was issued a patent in 1916 for cheese that was processed and then packed in glass jars or cans. In 1921 he was issued another patent for a loaf of processed cheese.

In 1935 Norman Kraft was issued a patent for the equipment used in new processes. Over the next few years additional improvements to the equipment and processing methods were issued. In 1944 Norman was granted a patent describing the production of processed cheese slices, a breakthrough in convenience.


Grilled cheese sandwiches: When I was a kid, I remember my mother putting home made strawberry jam in her grilled cheese sandwiches. I don't remember ever trying it; if I have anything in my grilled cheese, it's bacon. :-)

Sauces: Also when I was a kid, my mother would melt Cheez Whiz to pour over broccoli or asparagus on toast. Kids will eat anything with cheese on it. :-) My husband introduced me to cheesy peas, where you add a couple of cheese slices to cooked, drained peas and stir until melted.

Enhancing a dish: You can add processed cheese to macaroni and cheese to add a little omph, or to any casserole for that matter. Add it to mashed potatoes for extra flavour or as a topping for shepherd's pie. Throw a slice on top of an omelets.

Snacking: Spreadable processed cheese is great on crackers or as a filling for celery. I have also been known to throw a couple of slices of processed cheese over a plate of nachos and salsa and then microwave it until the cheese melts.

The possibilities are endless!

You can, in fact, make your own processed cheese and I've found a couple of links that give you step by step instructions:

From Living Strong we have: How to Make Processed Cheese

From America's Test Kitchen Feed we have How to Make American Cheese

Jul 30, 2012

Metempsychosis Monday

metempsychosis passing of soul after death into another body

Do you realize that the summer's half over? Seriously! Wednesday is August first. How did that happen?

We got a day of the rain we'd been promised for the last several weeks and the lawns are making a valiant effort at greening up again. However, it was only one day and I saw today there's a campfire ban on again. We're supposed to get some more rain this week, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Be still my heart! I got approval from the government of Canada to use a joint services badge on the covers for my veteran's project last week. By Wednesday the project was printed, bound and ready for delivery. Break out the champagne! :-)

Did you see? I got all my posts up on time last week. All of them! Including the first installment on my Cheese series, a new book review, a poetry post, and a new flash fiction. Way to go me! LOL

Unfortunately, that's about as productive as I got during the week. From about Wednesday afternoon until Saturday, I was pretty much a couch potato. I did manage to get my office cleaned up (again!) but that was about it. It wasn't even a case of "the spirit was willing but the body was weak" - the spirit was pretty meh too. It was just one of those times when I was totally unmotivated.

However, Saturday I decided enough is enough, time to suck it up. So I decided to work from my office for the day. It was a pretty productive day too, I'm pleased to say. Sunday was not quite as productive, however I did have my in-laws over for dinner, and that necessitated cleaning up the house, planning and cooking a big dinner, and baking a fancy cake (it was my father in law's birthday) for dessert. And let's not forget the socializing.

So over all, the weekend was pretty good and it gives me hope for getting things done this week. The secret is to write in my office instead of attempting to write in the living room where the easy chair makes me slack off. Yes, that's right, I'm blaming my recliner for leading me into gaming temptation. :-)

This week I'd like to get my posts done ahead of time so I'm not having to stay up so late to finish them. I'm also going to be working on one of my un-serialized manuscripts which needs about 20,000 words added to it before I can call it done.

Another thing on my to-do list is to work on getting my business re-organized and come up with the rates list for the new services I'll be offering so the website can go live. Or if not live, then at least go somewhere on the internet where people can find it.

And my "to be read" pile is starting to stack up, so I need to make some time to read. Gee, now there's a hardship, having to read. So many books, so little time! I'm reading three right now - Denise Grover Swank's Chosen; Twelve Poets; I'll Be Yours For Christmas, by Samantha Hunter; and Gifts of the Crow. I guess that's four books on the go, isn't it? ;-)

What’s Up This Week: The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On Random Thoughts I will be posting my second installment of Cheeses of the World. On Random Writings I will be doing a new book review.

Wednesday (on Random Writings) Chapter Sixty-two of Shades of Errol Flynn. I'm wondering what the wizards have been up to lately? On Random Thoughts there’ll be a hunk and a hussy for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday we have Chapter Twenty-seven of Water (on Random Thoughts) where I think we'll see if Ravi gets caught visiting Nereida.

Friday As far as poetry goes for Random Writings I'll probably be doing another re-post of something you might have missed. I've got a few poems on the go, but nothing finished yet. On Random Thoughts we'll see if I'm up for another new flash fiction.

Jul 27, 2012

Flash Me Friday

The Bone Moon

"I don't know about this Butch, maybe we should go back."

"Don't wimp out on us now, Lisa, it's just a little further." Butch pulled her along behind him, the trembling in her hand having nothing to do with the chill in the sea air.

"We could have at least brought a flashlight with us, man," Jay said.

"What do we need a flashlight for? There's a full moon tonight," Butch told him.

"Yeah, where's your sense of adventure?" Tiffany giggled and clutched at Danny's arm as she stumbled over the rocky path.

"Do you know what they call the moon that rises this time of the month? The bone moon."

"C'mon Ashleigh, don't start that mystic shit tonight," Jay begged.

"Fine!" she snapped. "But just remember I tried to warn you."

"Chill, you guys. We're here."

They reached the end of the path down the cliff side and the rocks gave way to a fine, white sand. The moon cast more than enough light to see the empty crates Butch had dragged down earlier in the day to use for seating. He'd also gathered a respectable pile of firewood and dug a fire pit.

"Danny, you want to start the fire while Jay and I break out the beer?" Butch had just had his birthday, which took all the fun out of going on a beer run.

The driftwood was dry and caught fire easily. Butch handed Danny a beer and he took his place in the semi circle around the fire pit, looking out over the ocean. "This is great, man," he said. "The perfect way to celebrate the end of the summer."

"I'm cold," Lisa whined.

Butch put his arm around her. "Don't worry, babe. I'll keep you warm."

"We're not going to get into trouble for being here, are we?"

"Stop being such a drag, Lisa," Tiffany told her. "No one ever comes here, so no one's going to catch us."

"I wonder why they don't come here," Danny said. "This place is great, nice and secluded."

"I think I can answer that, young fella," a voice called out of the dark, startling the six trespassers.

"Jesus! Give a warning next time, would you?" Butch snapped. "Who the hell are you?"

An old man stepped closer to the fire.

"Name's Henry. I was beach combing down thataways earlier today and fell asleep. Just on my way home. Sorry to have disturbed you."

"Wait, Henry," Danny called as the old man shuffled past them and into the dark again. "You said you could tell us why no one comes here. Why don't you join us for a beer, maybe tell us the story?"

"Well, I suppose a beer or two couldn't hurt," Henry said, shuffling back over. Jay and Danny made space between them for him to sit down and Butch handed him a beer.

Henry took a swig of his beer and then started his story. "Well, it would have been about fifty years ago this happened." He glanced up at the moon and back down again. "Would have been fifty years ago exactly, on the night of the bone moon."

"See?" Ashleigh dug her elbow in Jay's ribs. "I told you it was the bone moon tonight."

"Quiet," he told her.

"This was a popular spot back then, specially with teenagers wanting to have a little privacy, if you get my drift."

Butch tightened his hold on Lisa and grinned.

"There was this group of teenagers, not much younger than you youngsters, who decided to spend the night on the beach, celebrating the end of summer or some such nonsense. Next morning, first ones arriving on the beach found what was left of them. There was the bones of one of the boys, tied up with some twine, but only the skulls of others were left."

"Oh my God," Tiffany said. "What happened to them?"

Henry shrugged. "No one knows. There was no footprints, no blood, nothing. Not even a sign of a struggle. Just the tied up bones and skulls. But . . ." his voice trailed off.

"But what?" Danny asked.

"There was this legend . . ."

"What legend?" Lisa asked, fascinated in spite of herself.

"This here is called Imp's Cove, 'cause there was said to be an imp bound to it. You know what an imp is, one of the devil's minions. Every fifty years, under the light of the bone moon, the imp needs to feed."

"And they think he ate those people?" Tiffany asked. "All of them?"

"Well, you'd be mighty hungry too if you only ate once every fifty years."

"But why didn't he just eat the last one," Danny asked. "Why leave the bones all tied up?"

"The imp feeds on fear just as much as he feeds on flesh," Henry said, looking at each one of them in turn. "He ties up the strongest of the lot, 'cause their fear is the richest, and lets them watch while he feasts on the others. Then he sucks the fear-filled flesh off the bones."

"I don't get it," Butch said. "Why didn't the others just run away?"

"They couldn't," Henry said, the moonlight reflecting off his eyes. At least Butch thought it was the moonlight. "The imp used the magic of his eyes to paralyze them."

There was no sound from the others. Butch tried to move his head to look at them, but it was like he was frozen in place. Horrified understanding filled him as Henry's form began to elongate, to morph into something inhuman.

"It's all right if you want to scream," the creature said in Henry's voice. "There's no one else to hear, and I quite enjoy a little music with my dinner."

Jul 24, 2012

History of Cheese

~ photo by Eva Kröcher

If you've ever read the Little House on the Prairie books you might remember when Ma made cheese. Ever since I first read that, I've always wondered what it would be like and who first came up with the idea. So rather than just dive on in with a different kind of cheese each week, I thought it would be interesting to uncover a little history on cheese.

It's believed that cheese first appeared between 7000 and 6000 B.C., about the same time man first began to domesticate livestock. The legend goes that cheese was discovered by a desert nomad who was carrying milk in a bag made from a sheep's stomach. The lining of an animal's stomach contains the coagulating enzyme rennet, or rennin, which is necessary in the formation of cheese. The rennet in the sheep's stomach combined with the milk and was heated by the desert sun. When the nomad stopped for a rest, he found the milk had separated into solid white lumps and a pale, watery liquid. He drank the whey and tasted the curds and found them both delicious.

Of course there's no evidence to support this legend, and it's unknown exactly where cheese making originated, either in Europe, Central Asia, or the Middle East. The earliest archaeological evidence of cheese making was found in Egyptian tomb murals. The method of transforming milk into cheese was a closely guarded secret and only priests knew how it was done. The earliest cheeses were likely to have been both bitter and salty, similar in texture to a coarse cottage cheese or feta cheese.

To the Romans and the Greeks, cheese was at first considered a luxury food, available only to those who were wealthy enough to afford it. Many of the noble Roman houses had a separate kitchen for the making of cheese, as well as special store rooms where the cheese could mature.

It was determined that the quality of the milk used affected the quality of the cheese being made, and often herds were set to graze in flower-filled meadows to improve the value of the milk. And it was not just cow's milk or goat's milk that was used for cheese, there was also milk from sheep, horses, and donkeys.

Cheese making was considered a fine skill. By experimenting with various treatments and storage conditions, many distinct varieties of cheese were developed. The Romans are credited with inventing the cheese press, in an effort to perfect a way to drain the curds.

By the middle ages, monks became the creators and developers of cheese. They developed many of the cheeses we are familiar with today. They invented the ripening and ageing methods for cheese and were able to produce milder tasting cheeses. Many cheeses became known by the region they were produced in - Munster, Gorgonzola, Limburger . . .

During the Renaissance period, however, the popularity of cheese declined. It was believed to be unhealthy. But by the 19th century it became increasingly popular again when it began to be produced in factories, instead of farms.

Jul 23, 2012

Mabble Monday

mabble ~ to wrap up

Still waiting on the cover art for the covers of the OTF project, but for all intents and purposes the project is done. And just so you know that I haven't just been slacking off for the last eight months, I have the pictures to prove it.

I don't know how well you can see this, but this shows that even when printing black and white pictures my printer insisted on adding blue . . . unless I switched from printing in colour to printing in greyscale.

This is a picture of the finished project

The project consists of:
32 interviews between veterans and local high school students
19 hours of recordings (edited down from 26 hours)
877 hours of audio editing/mastering (hubby did this part over 20 months)
224 hours of transcribing interviews
over 190,000 words transcribed; 475 pages split into 3 volumes

This does not include time spent searching for the correct spelling of names of battles, places, military terms, etc. Nor does it include time spent printing, re-printing, and photo editing.

And this is a picture of the amount of shredding I have to do. It was really tempting to do all the shredding myself and then take a picture of all the bags stacked up, however the last time I had a pile of shredding to do (a much smaller pile) it took forever and I burned out one of my shredders (I had two). This time I'm shoving everything into a box and then taking it to my husband's office to add to their pile of shredding. Every once in awhile a truck comes and pretty much shreds everything in a manner of minutes. Apparently it acts something like a wood chipper. :-)

Got my serial posts both written and up on time, as well as my book review and poetry post. Go me! LOL I even updated my Goodreads and my Reading Challenge page. I did not get a Flash Fiction posted, however, nor did I make it to the poetry reading (not feeling well)

Did you participate in the poll I put up Tuesday? Too late, poll is closed now. Blogger wouldn't allow me to add choices to their poll (their maximum was four and I had six) so I had to put two polls into the sidebar. I can't believe it - the cheese won! So this week will be the first installment of cheeses of the world. *shakes head sadly*

My weekend did not go as planned. While I did spend some time outside on Saturday, it was at a great-nephew's first birthday party. Granted he's a cute little gomer, but I find a little bit of kiddie time goes a long way. Then Sunday I was at a bridal shower for my husband's cousin's son's future bride. I'm not even sure why I was invited. It was a very elegant affair though.

Hopefully this will be it for this kind of thing for a while. It's not that I mind doing family stuff so much, it's just that it's always smack dab in the middle of the day. And . . . I spoke too soon. Next weekend is my father-in-law's birthday so I expect there'll be a get-together for that as well. *sigh*

I pulled out one of my almost finished manuscripts between parties on the weekend and got a little bit of work done on it. This week I'd like to get a bunch more work done on it. My work room isn't looking too bad, but my office is in sad shape . . . again. I'm hopeful it won't take too long to whip it into shape again because I think I'll get more accomplished if I work in there than in the easy chair in the living room.

What’s Up This Week: The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On Random Thoughts I will be posting my first installment of Cheeses of the World. On Random Writings I will be doing a book review - hopefully of a book I've just finished reading.

Wednesday (on Random Writings) Chapter Sixty-one of Shades of Errol Flynn. I think it's time to check in on Howard and the wizards, don't you? On Random Thoughts there’ll be a hunk and a day hussy for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday we have Chapter Twenty-six of Water (on Random Thoughts) where I think we'll see how Nereida is doing . . . maybe.

Friday I've run out of poetry from the PAD challenge, so on Random Writings I might have to come up with a fresh poem. I've actually had a couple of flash fiction ideas rattling around in my head, so perhaps I will get one written for Random Thoughts this week.

Jul 18, 2012

Hump Day Hunk & Hussy

As promised, starting today I'm featuring a little something for the men as well as the women to enjoy. I can't promise to always have a theme, but the one for today is the great outdoors.

Jul 17, 2012

Time For a Poll

As I said yesterday, I'm pretty undecided about what series to try next on this blog. So, I'm putting up a poll to let you help me decide. :-)

In the interest of encouraging you to make an informed decision, I am including a description of each of your choices. The poll will be open for a week and I'll let you know the results on Monday.

Good Fairies/Bad Fairies
This will be loosely based on the book by Brian Froud, which I just happen to have a copy of. While I'll be using the book as a guide, I'll be widening the scope of my research to include other books, articles, etc.

Gods and Goddesses
This might be a tricky one. I'd like to skip over the major gods and goddesses and focus more on the little known deities from a variety of mythologies.

Man, Myth and Magic
This would be a hodge podge of the weird and wonderful.

Mysteries of the Unknown
This would be just what it sounds like. Each week I'd feature a different unsolved mystery. Who knows, maybe it will spark a creative idea.

The Zodiac
Have I really not done this already? How terribly remiss of me! Each week I'll focus on a different sign of the Zodiac. Hey baby, what's your sign? ;-)

Cheeses of the World
So, yeah. This one is my husband's idea and I like to humour him sometimes, so here it is. Each week I'll explore a different kind of cheese - how it's made, what it's used for . . . You'd be surprised how many kinds there are out there.

So there you have it. Like I say, the poll will be open for the week, so don't forget to vote. And as you can see, blogger wouldn't let me have six choices on my poll, so I had to put two polls instead. It ain't pretty, but it works. :-)

Jul 16, 2012

Multiplicative Monday

multiplicative ~ indicating repetition or augmentation

I can see the light at the end of the OTF tunnel. What I'm waiting on now is permission from the Canadian Government to use a specific military badge on the cover of the CDs and books. I've been in touch with four different departments so far and the last one sent me a request for more information, but it was late enough in the day (on Friday) and I knew I'd be waiting for the reply. Hopefully I'll hear back today.

Once I get permission for the cover art all that's left is printing the covers for the books and the CDs. And if I don't get permission? There's another version of the crest that I can buy online, but it's not as nice. I'd really rather use the official one though, so cross your fingers for me.

My printer has been suspiciously well behaved. No more smudging on the sides of the pages. Well, unless I have to print with the blue. Although I printed a colour picture today (for my cork board) and it came out beautifully. Perhaps it's only photographs it doesn't like. Unfortunately, towards the end of printing yesterday the ink was kind of fading a bit. I hope that's because I coaxed the poor thing into printing 1,000 pages today and not because I'm running out of black toner. The cartridge is supposed to be good for up to 5,000 pages and I've probably only printed two or three thousand so far.

Despite being immersed in the OTF project last week, I still managed to get my two serial posts written and posted the bonus story (Tuesday) written by my writer's group. I also finished the edits on an awesome novel and got it back to the author.

Here's a question for everyone, do novels you read whilst editing count towards the Goodreads reading challenge? Good question. I guess technically they do, but I'd have to wait until they're available for sale. What do you think?

In case you're interested, the group has started a second progressive story. The numbers were drawn on a night I couldn't be there and I found it a little suspicious that I was chose to go first. However, I got the group back by creating an opening paragraph that had as many fantasy elements as I could manage (and still have it make sense). I won't see the story again until it's done and I can't wait to see where the group takes it. :-)

This week I will finally be starting to emerge from my hermit's cave. Maybe. There's a Scribe's meeting on Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday evening there's a poetry reading. I can't remember the last time I made it to a poetry reading.

So . . . what else will I be up to this week, now that I have all this free time? LOL Well, I'd like to spend a little time outside reading, and I have another book coming to me for edits. This is by a local author and she likes the edits done on hard copy, which means I can use my coloured pens and matching stick notes. And I should probably spend a little time cleaning up my office and work rooms . . . again!

Now that my husband has been dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age (although he still maintains that computers are just a fad), he occasionally checks out my blog. Usually his comments are pretty positive, except when it comes to Wednesdays. He insists that I play fair and start posting eye candy for the gentlemen out there. So, starting this week I will be adding a Hump Day Hussy to the Hump Day Hunk.

What’s Up This Week: The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do here. At least on Random Thoughts. Maybe I'll put up a poll since apparently people are too shy to comment. ;-) On Random Writings I will probably be doing a book review.

Wednesday (on Random Writings) Chapter Sixty of Shades of Errol Flynn. Jeez, just how long does it take one woman to get ready for a dinner? On Random Thoughts there’ll be a new hunk plus a hump day hussy for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday we have Chapter Twenty-five of Water (on Random Thoughts) where we see a little more of Ravi's training as an Elemental.

Friday My self-imposed holiday is winding down, so I will most likely be posting some kind of poetry on Random Writings. Whether or not I'm up to posting a flash piece on Random Thoughts is anybody's guess. :-)

Jul 11, 2012

Hump Day Hunk

Hmmm. He looks like he's waiting for someone to wash his back. Any volunteers? ;-)

Jul 10, 2012

Tuesday Treat

Progressive Story - Part Two
(for part one and the explanation, go HERE)

I can't let them do this, I thought. This isn't some whacko Stephen King nut-book, this story now being told by me, not one of those movies where pallid teen-agers gaze soulfully into each other's khol-rimmed eyes. Screw these guys.

"You're no more a doctor than my Aunt Freda," I said to the guy in front of me. "And you, moose-breath, take your filthy hands off me." The Doctor recoiled. Smith gasped.

"Now you sit, both of you, and listen and listen good, 'cos I'm only gonna tell yer the once." I'd always wanted to use my John Wayne. Damn, it felt good.

"You gotta be nice 'cos you know damn well you won't get it otherwise. The only smart thing you've done is set this up in a hospital. So give me the money first."

Michael Hanlon

To think that I got into this mess, all supposedly for the betterment of humankind.

My guts were screaming "no" when they inserted the computer chip under my skin. Why didn't I listen?

"Leading-edge technology" they told me. "Help us test it. Be the guinea pig. Think of the ultimate good."

Better than a Medic Alert bracelet, my medical history would be immediately scan-able. It made sense then, especially in my line of work.

But who knew what actually encrypted on the thing? Why did everyone want it? What relevance did it have to the upcoming election? And now, these two men hovering over me, simply expected to carve it out?

What about gloves? What about antiseptic? What about washing their hands, at least? No wonder they thought they needed the restraints. Thank god, we were in a hospital.

I wanted the damn thing out of me, true enough.

Christine Sharp

Suddenly a phone rang. It must have been in someone's pocket, for there was no sign of one in the bare, frightening room. The man in black spoke abruptly into a cell-phone he pulled out of his jacket.

Pretending to massage my aching knee, I listened hard, the phone in his hand only inches from my face. The excited voice at the other end was gabbling, a torrent of words from among which I was sure I heard "police", "abort", and "hurry!"

"That will be all for now, Miss Jones. You are free to go," the man in black almost yelled at me as Mr. Smith hurriedly stuffed his pockets with papers from a drawer he'd unlocked after one long stride to the desk.

"But, but . . ." I stammered.

"We'll call you, Miss Jones. This interview is over."

Who were these people? Doctors? Surely not. The Mafia? Terrorists?

I was petrified.

Margaret Bain

The air seemed to get sucked out of the room as the fleeing men slammed the door shut. Then just as harshly the door slammed open again to reveal a bow legged man dressed all in white. "Yes," my inner John Wayne cried. "The cavalry has arrived."

"We must leave at once," the stranger intoned raising his arm. The room started to spin and everything went a misty gray then nothingness.

I awoke in a dark cave to the smell of fresh chocolate and the warmth of a bon fire.

"Welcome back," the stranger said, handing me a cup of steaming cocoa. "Do you know who you are? Why those men want your chip? Or who you carry in your womb?"

"Wwwww . . .what?" I stammered.

Smiling kindly, the stranger explained my destiny to me and why parting with my chip would cause the world as I knew it to end.

C.L. Hannah

"My child will be . . . ?

"The king, in a new world order. No more elections or wars. One world currency. All swearing allegiance to your child."

"My memories . . . they're gone. I know only what you're telling me."

"That was necessary, along with the chip. There is an active resistance. Your life is in danger, and your child's. You did agree to be inseminated. I promise you that."

"But who is the father?"

"In science, it is neither necessary nor desirable that identities be known, although he certainly knew you."

"What happens now?"

"We hide you. Then we induce labour."

"And my future?"

"At present, you're this world's most wanted person. That chip contains DNA information. Armed with this, the resistance could make legions of identical offspring. You're our best hope for world peace."

"But . . . my future?"

"My dear, this is your finest hour. Be grateful for what you are giving to the world."

Laura MacCourt

"I am still not sure that I want to go through with this."

"Too late now, you choose the right door. Now you must do exactly as I tell you, one little mistake and this world can be blown to smithereens. So pay close attention.

"Go straight home, do not turn any of the lights on except the bathroom. Wrap your two index fingers in cotton wool and then tissues. Take a 45 minute shower, making sure that the hot water runs over the chip implanted in your side. Keep your wrapped fingers on either side of the chip, it will just slide out of you, leaving no scar. Make sure that you hold the chip between your covered fingers. At no time allow your flesh to come into contact with the chip. On the bathroom vanity you will find an open box of M&Ms, place the chip inside with the multi coloured M's, they represent all the colours of the World's Nations. Climb into bed and place the box in the centre of your breasts. Close your eyes and start to meditate, until you fall asleep.

"At daybreak you will wake to find the most beautiful piece of eye candy laying beside you. Look, but don't touch. He will be the most beautiful person any one has ever seen.

"He will have the looks of Clark Gable, the eyes of Paul Newman, the voice of Sean Connery, the build of John Wayne, the hair of Justin Bieber, the personality of Prince William, the heart and soul of Mother Teresa, and best of all the brain of Albert Einstein.

"And as the eyes are the windows to the soul, nothing but love will shine from him. He will rule the world with love and kindness.

"There will be no more fighting, no wars, no anger. And the world's motto will be love one another, and do unto others as you would have them do to you. There will be peace in all the world."

The End.

Ellen Curry

Jul 9, 2012

Maquette Monday

maquette ~ small model of something to be made on a larger scale

So . . . just when I thought I could call the OTF project done, I had a couple of days worth of going through the transcripts to decipher some of the less . . . understandable words/passages, but with the help of my son in law and my husband we pretty much figured out what everyone was saying. Then I had to go through and double check everything, which meant listening to the recordings whilst reading the hard copy. Interesting, to be sure, but very time consuming.

This week I have one more batch of read-throughs to do, type out the tables of contents, and then print the hard copies and CD covers. Oh, and cross your fingers for me that I get permission from the Governor General to use the joint operations group badge for the covers. There are sites where I can purchase a reasonable facsimile, but I'd much rather use the real deal. It looks nicer too.

Oh, and my printer? The hubby carried it out to the dining room table last week (it weighs a ton) so I could get at it to clean it. I opened every orifice it had and swabbed, brushed, and polished, then put it back together and he put it back in my office for me to test it out. I no longer have smudging along the left side of my pages. Instead I now have smudging along the right hand side. *sigh* I should have left well enough alone. No one would have seen the smudging on the left because that's the edge that will be bound. If the smudging doesn't go away during the printing process, I'll have to get the books trimmed after they're bound.

Whether you were a Canadian or an American you had a day off last week. I hope everyone made good use of it. Myself, I was under the weather on Monday, so I didn't really get to enjoy the peace and quiet after my company left. I was sick a day and a half this week too, and the heat didn't help at all.

I've been seeing news bits on TV about how the unseasonably warm temperatures have accelerated the crops, and I have to agree with that. My next door neighbour has a bumper crop of green beans which she's very generous about sharing. I love fresh green beans, but we've had them with supper for three nights in a row now.

This week is going to be another short week as far as posts go, I'm afraid. Still too much other stuff on my plate right now. Besides getting the OTF project printed, sealed, and delivered, I have a book I'm editing that I vow to get finished ASAP. It just needs one more read through (because I'm anal about things like that), then it's back to the author. And whether I've got time for it or not I need to weed my gardens - what's the point in planting flowers if they just get choked out by the weeds? There's a few other things I keep forgetting about . . . I really need to make a list.

Oh, one of the things I need to do is make time to read a book that was sent to me for review. It's a non-fiction about crows, which is rather timely because I have a family of crows that comes to visit on a regular basis for peanuts. Actually, one of the blue jays starts caterwauling and when I come out with the peanuts he flies away and the crows swoop in before he comes back. I'm going to go broke feeding all my little forest creatures. :-)

What’s Up This Week: The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On Random Thoughts and Random Writings I am taking a break . . . still. Hey, it's summer and I'm entitled! :-P

Wednesday (on Random Writings) Chapter Fifty-nine of Shades of Errol Flynn. Are you beginning to think this is the serial that never ends? Well it is fantasy, and fantasy tends to run longer. On Random Thoughts there’ll be a new hunk for your viewing pleasure. ;-)

Thursday we have Chapter Twenty-four of Water (on Random Thoughts) where we see a little more of Ravi's training as an Elemental.

Friday Sorry folks, I'm still on holidays here as well. I have some ideas for poetry and flash fiction, just no time to write them down.

Jul 5, 2012

Post Delay

Sorry folks, but due to drought there will be a slight delay in the posting of this week's installment of Water. Never fear, I hope to have it up by noon so please check back later. In the meantime, you can scroll down and have a look at yesterday's hunks again. ;-)

Jul 4, 2012

Hump Day Hunk

Here's a little something for all my Yankie friends. Happy Independence Day!

Jul 2, 2012

Myrmecophagous Monday

myrmecophagous ~ feeding on ants

I hope all my Canadian friends are having an excellent wrap-up to the holiday weekend. For those of you who are not Canadian - I'm sorry, you have to work today while we get the day off to celebrate Canada day. However, you get Wednesday off and while it's not as good as a long weekend, you gotta admit, having a day off in the middle of the week is pretty awesome too.

Our town celebrates the holiday by holding a three-day festival on the waterfront. I won't bore you with the details, but you can check it out here. My favourite has always been the Fine Art tents, which I managed to visit yesterday afternoon. I had out of town family visit for the weekend, which did not make for a very relaxing weekend, but I get a good chunk of today to relax and trust me, that's what I'll be doing. ;-)

The OTF project is done, except for the printing. I guess I will be stirring my tired butt after all - I still need to clean my printer. Cross your finger for me that cleaning is all it needs to get rid of the dark streaks it leaves along the left hand edge of the pages.

The duplicator we bought online worked good for copying the CDs, but the lightscribe part was a whole different story. It would not do what it was supposed to and neither sweet talking nor threats worked to change its mind. After considerable time spent on the internet researching the problem, I came to the conclusion that pretty much anyone who's ever bought a duplicator with lightscribing capabilities has run into the same problem. A few people have been able to solve the problem, but I, unfortunately, was not. So I had to use my external CD/DVD drive with lightscribe to etch the titles on the CDs one at a time. All 192 of them. *sigh*

As mysteriously as it vanished, the sidebar on Random Writings has reappeared. I still don't know why it was gone in the first place, but it's back and I guess in the end that's all that matters.

For the second week in a row I got all my posts up on time. It made for a couple of late nights, but hey, whatever it takes. Right?

I wasn't on Facebook a lot last week, except for the occasional ninja-like drive bys and Castleville breaks. Kind of a deja vu of the previous week.

This week . . . I'm going to have to make a list of things I want to get done, you know, things I've let slide while I was so focused on the OTF project. One happy side note of all my company over the weekend, I got my office picked up, so I can cross that off my to-do list. And one of the things I came across during the cleaning of said office was the notepad I use for my to do lists. :-)

What’s Up This Week: The schedule is up on the side bar, so I’m just giving the highlights here.

Tuesday On Random Thoughts and Random Writings I am taking a break. Hey, it's summer and I'm entitled! :-P

Wednesday (on Random Writings) Chapter Fifty-eight of Shades of Errol Flynn. So . . . how does Howard really feel about Jessica sharing her secrets with Alexandre? And how will Paran and Thackery feel about it? On Random Thoughts there’ll be a special set of patriot hunks for my Yankie friends. ;-)

Thursday we have Chapter Twenty-three of Water (on Random Thoughts) where life goes on for Ravi.

Friday I'm going to take a holiday here as well. Honestly? I'm not ready to start my Flash fiction yet, and I'm running short on poetry.