- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
There are some doom-sayers who are claiming that the world is coming to an end on December 21, 2012. Whether or not they are right, there are some other people who are taking it to heart in a joking way and creating a "bucket list" for 2012. There's a facebook group if you'd like to join and I thought I'd share my own "bucket list" for 2012.
1. Go to Alcatraz. I've lived in the Bay area for 10 years now and I still haven't done the boat ride and tour of Alcatraz. And before I go I need to read: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko. It is the story of a boy whose family moves to Alcatraz Island when his father gets a job as a guard there in 1935.
2. Go to Disneyland. I went when I was 2 years old and I hear I had a good time, but I frankly don't recall! I have a lot of friends who still love to go to Disneyland as adults. And before I go, I need to read: Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow. This one is a free ebook download so I can use my ereader...
3. Eat Cioppino. This is apparently the most famous San Francisco Fish Dish. I don't know what they're talking about because I've never tried it. Bobby Flay did a Throwdown against Phil DiGirolamo from Phil's in Moss Landing for this dish and includes a recipe in his book: Bobby Flay's Throwdown. There are a lot of restaurants who carry this dish so I don't think I'll have a problem here!
4. Bike the Coyote Creek Trail. This trail is 18.7 miles in total so I might take it easy and do it in a couple of sessions. But I'd be able to get a scenic view of a lot of San Jose! But first, I need to fix my bike up - I think I'll need to check out the Complete Bike Book by Chris Sidwells.
5. Wow! I'm running out of good ideas for my bucket list! Time to check out Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in the San Francisco Bay Area by Scott Van Velsor!
Maybe you'd like to join me in creating a "bucket list" this year instead of a resolution. Come up with some fun activities and give yourself a reading list too! Let me know how it goes and Happy New Year!
There's something new in social networking and if you are a visual learner or just love browsing the web, this one might be for you. Pinterest is a site which allows you to "pin" an image from a website that you like and sort it into any number of "boards" that you choose. You then share those images with the world, and in particular with friends who have also signed up and decided to follow your "pins."
My pinterest name is Gothmom and you are welcome to check out my boards. That photo is my school photo from the first grade and my pinterest icon. You'll see the images of things I'd like to craft, things I'd like to cook and ideas for home and garden that intrigue me. If you see something on my board that you think is cool, you can "repin" it onto your own board and share the neat idea that way.
Another social networking site that seems to get better and better is Yelp. The Yelp App is a really great smartphone tool for determining where the closest restaurant or movie theater is to you in real time and then it even can show you a map of where it is so you can get there easily. The other important feature that Yelp is all about is the crowdsourcing. Because so many people have written reviews of businesses, you can get a fairly reliable idea of what the experience will be like when you walk through the doors of a business you've never been to before.
Want to learn more about social networking? Take a look at Social Networking for Career Success by Miriam Salpeter. More and more people are using social networks such as LinkedIn to do business networking and look for jobs.
All a Twitter by Tee Morris is an ebook that goes into detail on the pros and cons of networking on Twitter. Some people love it, but remember the trouble it has gotten Charlie Sheen into! All in 160 characters or less!
I've got a fridge full of leftovers and I'm not going to let them go to waste! Let's take a minute or two to go over our leftover options...
Nadia G's Bitchin Kitchen: Cooking for Trouble by Nadia G is the star of a new quirky cooking show and this book brings some of what she shares to the printed page. In this book, she has a recipe for frittata using leftovers.
I regularly use leftover pasta and some fresh vegetables and a couple of eggs to make a frittata for breakfast or brunch. It sounds fancy and tastes great too!
Maya Angelou's cookbook, Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart is a downloadable ebook that has a section on leftovers.
I know I'm going to be putting the ham into a casserole and drench it with barbque sauce to make barbque ham sandwiches later this week. That is sure to be a hit with my meat and potatoes husband!
Cookbooks that focus on cooking once to make many meals are also good places to get inspiration for leftover makeovers... Better Homes and Gardens Make Ahead Cooking does just that!
Now here's your chance to share - What do you do with Your leftovers?
Lately we have had a number of smaller earthquakes in the Bay Area.Last week, when my whole house shook, my husband thought it was the wind.But news reports confirmed a 3.8 quake on the Hayward Fault.
If you do feel a quake, go to Did You Feel It to register your experience.This crowdsourcing tool sponsored by the United States Geological Survey records the data and maps it.You can look back over the past 24 hours or even further back to see where earthquakes are occurring all over the world and also see how many people reported feeling it and how far away they were from the epicenter of the quake.
I’m told you can ask just about anybody who’s over the age of 30 where they were when the Loma Prieta Quake happened in October of 1989. I wasn’t in California then, but I was in 2007 on October 30th when the King Library was shaken so hard that hundreds of thousands of books fell off the shelves.
Are you ready for the next big quake? Have you reviewed your emergency plan with your family? Do you have an out of town relative that everyone can call to relay information if local phone connections don’t work? If you haven't, don't put it off. There is nothing more comforting that being ready just in case something goes wrong. There are many sites with good tips on preparedness and the very best are sponsored by government agencies. Ready.gov and FEMA both have concise and useful information on what to do to stay safe in case you feel the earth move under your feet!
Most of us remember being told fairy tales as children. Themes from these stories form the archetypes that are repeated over and over in popular culture - both books and films. During the past decade or so, authors have been re-telling classic fairy tales in full novel format. These aren't your Disney versions of the stories. They are gritty and compelling adult reads.
Interested? Here are some to start with:
If you shop in the City of San Jose, beginning January 1, 2012 (that's about 4 months away) there will no longer be disposable plastic bags for your merchandise. That means you will need to bring your own bags to put your groceries or other purchases in.
Plastic bags are a convenience that just isn't worth the price on the environment. Did you know that plastic bags are the most commonly found items during creek clean-ups or that Californians use 4 million plastic bags a year? Plastic bags are considered to be dangerous to over 260 species of wildlife including sea turtles who mistake the bags in the ocean for jellyfish and then try to eat them. Swapping out plastic bags for reusable ones is a change that everyone can easily make!
What can you do to get ready for the change?
Recycle your plastic grocery bags by turning them into "yarn" that you can then use to crochet a reusable shopping bag. This is recycling/reuse at its finest. I've made a couple of these myself - they are quick to make and they are flexible and strong! This video shows you how to do it!
Purchase bags at your local store. They are only a few dollars and if you start now buying one a week, you'll easily have enough for your weekly grocery run before the ordinance goes into effect.
Check out the book bags the library friends sell! These bags are built for toting books, but they'll carry your canned goods and loaves of bread just as easily. And you'll be supporting the library as well!