Fire in the Hole! Oven Element Burns Up

Did I ever tell you about The Car Guy’s To Do List? It contains things that I put on it (see Pink Jobs and Blue Jobs for an explanation of what kinds of tasks I put on his list) and things that he adds. He often adds items after he has done them, and then he immediately crosses them off.  He likes his list to look like it is close to completion.

The original lists were probably carved in stone and represented longer periods of time. They contained things like ‘Get More Clay. Make Better Oven.
– David Viscott –

This week he added Order a new oven bake element from

oven element

We’ve never had an oven element self destruct before. It is pretty dramatic. It started in one spot with a spark like you see when someone is welding. This white hot spot slowly inched along the element, even after The Car Guy turned the oven off. It stopped as soon as he closed the electrical breaker.

This seemed infinitely more sensible than the recommendation from some guy on the internet who said he tried to put the same kind of fire out by dousing it with water.

Cactus Buds and Blooms – Future Tense in Arizona

I’m spending part of my winter in Arizona cactus country, and the past week has been pretty exciting. All sorts of interesting things are popping out the sides and tops of the cacti in these parts. I have no idea what the flowers will look like, nor how long it will take before they bloom. We’ve had quite a bit of rain though, so I’m hopeful that means a brilliant future for all the interesting plants that live in the desert.


One of the first out of the starting gate is this cactus – the Argentine Giant (Echinopsis candicans).

The plant itself isn’t all that wide or tall, but the flower buds were as long as my hand. Yesterday they were tightly closed.


Today- they were just about all open and the flowers were as big around as my cereal bowl!


Yes, they are fragrant and no, I have no idea how long the blooms will last.

I stood back and admired them for quite a while, and though both a butterfly and a hummingbird fed in nearby plants, neither of them paid any attention to these flowers. The bees didn’t either. Apparently the flowers are primarily open at night, which means that moths and bats would do the pollination.

Strangely enough, this is the past that somebody in the future is longing to go back to.
– Ashley Brilliant –

Unofficial WordPress ‘Never Been Freshly Pressed’ Club

So You’ve Never Been Freshly Pressed! Then it is your lucky day, because you qualify for membership in the NBFP Club.  Yes, there are other bloggers just like you who have chosen but hasn’t chosen you… or them…

By my estimation, (and by virtue of my self appointed rank of President of NBFP I am authorized to do estimates) 99.9986% of WordPress bloggers have not, and never will be Freshly Pressed. Don’t ask me how I came to that conclusion. It is advanced math and like WordPress, I am not at liberty to tell you how and why I do what I do. Rest assured, however, that no matter how many of your fellow bloggers get Freshly Pressed and no matter how many of your fellow Bloggers are Freshly Pressed on numerous occasions, they still are a very small minority. There are, you see,  nearly 40 million new posts each and every month for WordPress to choose from!

I’m sure you are as excited about the NBFP Club as I am. You already know the benefits of Never Being Freshly Pressed, but let me itemize them for you (this is why I am President – I am organized too):

  • no long lines of strangers hanging about your blog hoping to cash in on your fame
  • no feelings of inadequacy if you don’t get Freshly Pressed again
  • no depression when your site stats slip back to normal
  • no need to live up to your past fame

Of course, the NBFP Club will be more than just a virtual reality. I’ve found us a clubhouse.

street scene

I know it doesn’t look all that good right now…

street buildings

But my contractors assure me that with just a few renovations, this is what our place could look like. I think the restaurant and patio will be wonderful!

Since the inauguration of our club, we’ve rounded up a few bloggers who are eager to serve on our Board. The good thing about our Club is that anyone can be on the Board simply by volunteering to fill a position that they invent. How cool is that!

UPDATE:  It is with extreme sadness that I announce I was Freshly Pressed on July 9, 2013. I therefore announce my resignation as President, though I will still retain my title of Founder and First President.

Our New President is Al at the cvillean . Previous to this, Al was our very capable Treasurer. If you would like to join the NBFP Club, head over to his blog.

Farewell all and Happy Blogging!

Life Is Many Things – What is it to You?

How old where you when you thought you were grown up? How old were you when you started to think about what Life Is?

The QuipperyDid you think it was possible to explain what ‘Life Is’ in just one sentence?

Age lets you be the person you would have been, if you hadn’t been so busy being the person you were earlier in life.
– Margie –

Life is short… ask directions.
– Unknown –

The rest of the quotations about Life are at Life and What it is.

Facebook Thinks Your Life is Boring

You see this tuna? This tuna is boring. Stop having a boring tuna, stop having a boring life.
– Offer “Vince” Shlomi (Commercial for Slap Chop)

Have you ever watched the Sham Wow, Slap Chop or Schticky commercials on TV? I always crack up when Vince, the consummate salesman, says “You’re gonna love my nuts” – as he is using the Slap Chop to dice up the items that will make your food preparation (and your life) more exciting.

Vince makes the prospect of ‘being fleeced’ fun. He knows he is an old time snake oil salesman, and he doesn’t try to hide it.

Less fun – okay downright annoying – is the advertising on Facebook. Facebook used to be just a social network – the place where I tell all my friends  how The Car Guy is recovering from his Motorcycle Accident and my friends say they are glad to hear the news. Or the son-in-law posts a photo of us on New Years Eve, and we respond by saying “Surely our cheeks and noses weren’t that red!”

AdvertisementsFacebook’s prime purpose isn’t social networking any more. It has morphed into a sophisticated and annoying vehicle for selling product. Advertising is displayed on my Home Page in a column down the right side. Today it is for Plus Size Separates, Party Photography, Criminal Pardons, Rachael Ray’s Hollywood Diet and an Investment that looks like a pyramid scheme.

That is fairly easy to ignore, but advertisements are also sprinkled in with all the posts from my friends. They are called ‘Suggested Pages’.  Should I be offended that one of these pages was an advertisement for Botox? Well yes! I can’t imagine a more offensive product (to me, anyhow) than botox.

Trending articlesThat isn’t all, though. Facebook also inserts ‘Trending Articles‘ to spice up my obviously boring life.  Most of my Facebook friends have decided that the day to day stories about their lives are really not worth sharing either, so they have pretty much quite posting anything personal.  The bulk of my Home Page contains links to things they read, causes they support, videos they’ve watched, businesses they like, places they shop, games they play, posts they ‘Liked’ (mostly from people I don’t know) etc, etc, etc.

It is all pretty slick – Facebook is now a personalized digital newspaper, complete with advertisements, and the content is supplied by my friends and family! Each link they post, each item they ‘like’, each item I ‘like’ – all of it becomes part of a huge user database that helps Facebook target them, and me, with more content and advertising.

Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine.
– Richard Stallman –

I don’t take kindly to being targeted, so every now and then I go to my Facebook  Timeline and Activity Log and delete everything I find. If I’m going to use Facebook, I’m going to be as anonymous as I can. I’d shut it down completely if it wasn’t the sole way some of my friends and family communicate with me and if I wasn’t using it to advertise my own blog posts! Two can play the advertising game…

PS – If you are a Facebook User, go to your Privacy Settings and set them all to Friends – not Friends of Friends and not Public. Why? Well, lets say you have 50 trusted friends, and let’s say your 50 friends each have 50 friends – who you may or may not trust. If you use the Friends setting, the things you say on Facebook go out to only 50 people. If you use the Friends of Friends setting, those words or photos clutter up the home page of 2450 Facebook Users who may use that content in ways you hadn’t intended.

Update 2016 – Is Facebook a good place to discuss your political beliefs? The 2015 Canadian Federal Election, and the 2016 American Presidential Election were hot topics with my friends!  I didn’t enjoy the never ending barrage of links to sometimes blatant media bias, but it was fascinating to see what people were willing to believe.

Alchemilla mollis – Lost in the Details of a Raindrop

This is a macro photo of a raindrop on the leaf of the Alchemilla mollis – a plant with big toothy scalloped leaves that capture and funnel rain into tiny little ponds that fairies could take a bath in, if fairies were inclined to do such a thing. Now, that’s a detail you probably haven’t heard before.


Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person.
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld-