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I can't sleep. And I was so tired yesterday. Ah, well, at least I don't have to work today.

Ugh.

Aug. 2nd, 2012 04:15 am
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I had an awesome dream, but can't get back to sleep. Going to try some music, that always seems to help.

Sometimes I wish my dreams were real, sometimes not. Tonight's would have been bittersweet; my stories/dreams tend to start out well and end in some tragedy, and often involve time travel.

Well, back to trying to sleep.
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Today I decided to make zucchini bread from the zucchini I picked in my garden. As I started to make it, I realized I was out of regular AP flour and vanilla extract. I did, however, have Atta flour.

For those who have never heard of it, it's basically 100% whole wheat flour ground very finely. It's used widely to make flatbreads in India, such as parthas, naan, etc. The problem with using this flour to make breads is that it lacks gluten. Gluten is important, because it helps make the loaf rise a little higher and stay a little firmer.

I decided that I could live with a little flatter loaf, because the baking soda would still cause some lift. I substituted orange extract for the vanilla extract, and made the batter. I had to add water because of the density of the flour, but it seemed pretty close to where it should have been. I also substituted Splenda for the sugar.

What I ended up with was, well, pretty good, actually. It definately wasn't as high as normal zucchini bread, but it tastes good. The flour gives it a nutty taste without nuts, and because it's whole wheat, it's healthy. The Splenda keeps the calories down, so I can feel good about eating it. Overall, not a bad experiment.
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Cleaning the basement and sneezing from dust. Found a ton of old pictures, was fun to go through them. Down 50 pounds since surgery, happy about that. Almost time to go back to work. Summer was hot but nice to be off.

Summer!

May. 25th, 2012 06:18 am
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Ok, so for the first time since I was a student, I'm off for the summer! Very happy. My garden is completely planted, and that was quite the chore (4 days of work in very hot weather), but now I can relax and enjoy.
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There are four weeks left in the semester. My Saturday class ends this week, so I'll be back to my usual Tuesday/Thursday schedule of classes. *big sigh of relief* After that, 3 weeks of lecture and a final exam, and I'm off to garden!

Speaking of the garden, my peas and lettuce are doing well; we've had a cold snap slow things down, but all in all it's going well. I'm establishing a strawberry bed and planted a blueberry bush. It also looks like I'll actually have cherries for the first time this year. Blackberries and raspberries are doing well, and the grapes are budding. Tomatoes, leeks, brussel sprouts, and watermelon are all growing indoors and doing well. So far, everything is going according to plan. :)

Also, bought a new car - 2010 Kia Forte. Daughter refers to it as a "bangin'" ride. All white outside, black and chocolate interior, sunroof, alloy wheels, satellite radio, power everything. Not a bad price, and a good warranty, but then again I do have to drive half an hour to work.

Students!

Feb. 12th, 2012 07:34 am
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Please don't expect a reply instantly. It says clearly in the syllabus (you know, that thing that you didn't read) that responses can take 1-2 business days. It states that so that I, your instructor, can have something that resembles a life. Emailing me at 2AM and expecting a response by 3AM is really quite insane.

Thanks much,

Your humble instructor
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Why, oh why, do you, Internal Revenue Service, make false promises? You told me my refund would be here on February 1st. On January 31st, I read an article that people who filed prior to January 26th will have their refunds delayed a week.

So now, I have to wait until the 7th of February. I called the IRS and told them that I was considering this to be a "payday loan", and I was going to charge them the same 500% interest the local lenders charge. After all, if they can do it, why shouldn't I make a couple thousand extra?

Unfortunatly, all I was given was the boilerplate response of "our anti-fraud mechanism malfunctioned, these things happen." What, exactly, were you doing the OTHER 9 months of the year?!?! Shouldn't you have tested this?

Normally, I wouldn't get all bent out of shape about this, but it's the second year in a row they've delayed my return. It's getting to the point where I'd rather just keep the money and skip the big return, I just don't want to end up paying in. Or maybe I should just become Amish. That'd work.
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I have a Saturday morning class, and even though I'm off on Friday, I never seem to actually prepare for class until 5AM Saturday. Well, at least I'm a morning person...

It's actually been a good week, because I'm working with the professors from the main campus now, and it never hurts to toss your name in the ring for future consideration. It'd be pretty neat to be a full, tenured professor at a private college. Of course, I need to add the PhD after my name first.

I now have my provisional license to teach Computer Science. =^.^=

14 weeks left until summer. It's going fast - it always does.
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Hello, I must be going! To be honest, I'm not certain how often I'll use this account. Since I've been transported into the world of Facebook, I rarely have a need for anything else. However, being a professor, every now and again I may feel the need to deliver my opinion.

Just for the heck of it, and since no one is probably ever going to read this, I'll toss this out. I decided to have a garden this year. I like big gardens; I always have, and with the high cost of vegetables, it makes sense to grow them myself. However, therein lies the problem - my house is absolutely unsuitable to gardening. I'm surrounded by tall trees, my garage blocks some growing area, and my house blocks the rest. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I can't grow great flowers. I can - quite lovely ones, actually. Any kind of vegetable, though, doesn't get enough sun. Without sun, you get small or no vegetables, which defeats the purpose.

To solve my problem, I decided to turn to Craigslist (of course). I put out an ad saying something to the effect of "I'll give you 25% of my vegetables in return for your gardening land." Lo and behold, I get a response, and not only that, it's virtually perfect for what I had in mind. It's out in the country, so there's no noise, there's water close by, and even a tractor to disc the patch. Excellent, think I - how can this get any better? What if I said it was less than a block from a cemetery I never knew existed in that area, which has one soldier from the Revolutionary War(!) and three soldiers from the War of 1812(!!!) buried in it, complete with a historical marker.

Oh, and this year's list of vegetables I'll grow? Corn, sugar snap peas, oregon pod peas, green bush beans, yellow bush beans, cucumbers (pickles!), carrots, celery, onions, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, chard, tomatoes (for canning spaghetti sauces, ketchup, etc.), brussel sprouts (for mom), several kinds of lettuce, winter squash, several herbs, hot peppers.....

I'm really looking forward to May 16th, the last day of the semester, and off for the summer!!

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