Thursday, April 25, 2013

An entry to reply to my many, many, very relevant blog comments

I just can't believe all of the action my blog has been getting lately.  Each morning, I awaken to email alerts of comments galore.  It's just been a little overwhelming, so I decided to take a moment and reply to them all right here.  Thank you so much for your insight, faithful readers!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":

6 or above, it's remarkably minor in the grand scheme of things. We suspect that amount would be slightly lower if we'd spent a bit more unweildy.
Though it's launching initially on 6. This is the way the iPhone 3 GS, they won't help you genie bra pads either.

Dear Anonymous, 
You know what?  You're right.  If it's below 6, then it warrants my attention.  6 or higher?  I'm over it, because it just doesn't matter.  I have to focus on more important things, like eating and discouraging teen pregnancy.
I'm not too sure what about my Dollar Rent-a-Car post led you to believe that my experience warranted a numerical value, but I like it, and I do agree--just spend a little more unweildy.  If only everyone would follow that advice!
UGH you could not be more right about the iPhone 3 GS!  I have been like "Hey iPhone 3 me genie bra pads already!" and they've been like "We won't!  We will not help."  So frustrating!  But you totally stepped in where iPhone 3 GS left off by linking me to a blog about a bra, but also, somehow, about Israel.  I don't see the connection yet, but I trust you!

Best of luck to you as you pursue that illusive 5 or below!

Gerald555able has left a new comment on your post "More e-spam...OR...I'm about to get RICH":
You have noted that "al" is the country domain extension of...Albania.
So you were being subject to attempted robbery from the Alabanian mafia (well known for much worse doings).

I actually really appreciate this info, because I assumed this came from Nigeria, because that's the world area that all of the Dateline specials on e-spam have focused on.  I'm thankful for the info, and subtle reminder (threat?) that things could have been worse for me.

Cheers, and best as you continue to spread Albanian awareness!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":

Profits of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group for $41
a share, more than paphos car hire could use in
over a century, so the mystery continues. The Cypriot Foreign Ministry expedited
the process of learning to read in Greek-English bilingual children learn to read is different in Spain, be sure to try the delicious haloumi cheese and grilled meat kebabs.  Lagondas could not be a need to know before you plan on seeing for recommendations of reputable car services in India.

Look at my blog post :: car hire paphos airport reviews

Dear Anonymous, 

Wow--they mystery DOES continue!  First of all, I'm like "If Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is bringing in $41 a share, how is Paphos car hire making it?!"  Share the wealth already, please, like any responsible company would!  
And then to hear about learning to read in Greek-English bilingual, but how that's different in Spain...I'm like "WHY?"  What's the point, when Paphos is barely making it, of teaching kids to learn in Greek-English bilingual if it's not even going to carry over to Spain?"  Do I need to get in touch with Spain in this blog or what?
Whew--food break!  You called it.  I gotta get my hands on some halmoumi cheese and grilled meats.  A little confused though--would those be available to me here in California, or do I need to make a trip over to Greece or Spain?  Either way, pretty sure I know where I'll be finding the kids who read Greek-English bilingual (not Spain!)!
One last thing--was thinking about getting over to India, but need a recommendation for a reputable car service.  Would you know how I could get more info about that?

Thank you SO much for this info--Greece, Spain, India or Dollar--you know what's best!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Confession":
You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which I think I
would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

kliknij po szczegółowe informacje,

Dear Anonymous, 

I really appreciate you expressing concern over the complexity of the issue with the Magic Bullet, and I have to concur!  Despite your accolades that my three-to-four line "presentation" makes it seem easy, I can easily see how it could be something outside of anyone's realm of understanding, and you know what?  It's my fault.
I went into this blog assuming that my faithful readers would understand what I meant without even including a photo, definition, product review, testimonial...anything!  That's not only presumptuous of me, it's likely racist.  For that, Anonymous, I ask your forgiveness (if you are affected by racism, as opposed to, like me, not seeing race when you look into someone's beautiful face). 
I only hope that you weren't too disappointed when you find that not only was my next post NOT a further explanation of what a Magic Bullet truly is, that I will actually never, ever post more about it.
You did lose me a little at the end there--not sure if it's just an angry "hitting of the keys" or some sort of hex, but I am a little concerned.  Do you work for Dollar and/or Albania?

Begging for forgiveness,

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":

I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!
! I certainly loved every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…
Take a look at my website - vertical leap workouts

Dear Anonymous, 

You have made my day!  Thank you for referring to my blog entry that was a long, long copy/paste of emails I'd received as a "wonderful read."  YOU are a wonderful read!!  How many bits of it would you say you loved, if you were being specific?
Just wondering.
Quick question though--I'm not really a jumper, and don't really love the idea of becoming one.  Was there something in my copy/paste of emails between myself and the Albanian mafia that made you think I was looking to become a better jumper?  

Thanks for the insight!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Amazing things here. I'm very glad to look your article. Thanks so much and I'm taking a look forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a mail?

my site - exercises to jump higher

Dear Anonymous, 

Thank you so much for looking my article!  It means a lot to me.  I have to be up front with you though...I don't really want to be touched by you.  It's nothing personal--I just don't know you, and I'm not really into being touched by people I don't know.
I suppose I could think about it, if you're really serious--maybe a little pat of the back, or handshake to start things off?  Let me know what you think by dropping me a mail back.
I can tell you right now, though--I don't really want more info about jumping.  I just don't care about jumping, and don't think anyone should have any site devoted to it. 

Your effort and concern are appreciated!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site
is great, as well as the content!

Feel free to visit my site: Vertical jump Program reviews


Wow--thank you!!  It's so kind of you to compliment my blog layout.  I spent less than one minute on it, and am actually not at all sure how to update it, so it's been the same since day one!  
Despite your compliments, though, I have to protest you constantly pushing your vertical jumping program on me.  I AM NOT INTERESTED IN JUMPING BETTER.  I feel like my jumps are fine, and don't need work.  The only times I jump are a--when there is a bug on me, b--when I am near a trampoline, or c--no other times.  I don't need help with the jumping.  Please stop asking.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you
knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
I've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

my web blog :: exercises to improve vertical leap

Dear Anonymous, 

This is getting frustrating for me.  I have a feeling this might be an issue caused a fact  referenced earlier: were you raised in Greece, but then moved to Spain?  I feel like we're having trouble understanding each other, and perhaps the reason is that you were raised with something called Greek-English bilingual, but then moved to Spain, where things are different.  
That makes things really hard.  Here's what I am trying to say: I don't jump often, and I don't want to learn anything about jumping.  NO JUMP!  I think that's the same in any language, probably.  
I am starting to think that you're only complimenting me in order to get me to look at your website that somehow seems to be entirely about jumping.
But either way, I don't really know what widgets are.  Spacely Sprokets?


dokan sam has left a new comment on your post "I do not use toilet seat covers, however...":
Seat covers is a protector that provides beautiful looking from any seat. It is also protected form the suns uv rays, food and drink spills, sliding in and out of your vehicle, etc. Our company provides many kinds of beautiful seat covers. I am totally impressed with this article and the information you have posted on here is really helpful and informative. Thanks admin.
Seat Covers Unlimited

Dear Dokan Sam, 

Your comment is so, so appreciated, but I think we've had a little miscommunication.  First of all, please, call me Shannon!  Admin is so formal! 
Second, not sure where you're from, but here, toilet seat covers are actually different from the traditional "seat cover" you seem to be referencing.  They're typically just thin, disposable paper rings that are meant to (but do not actually) protect you from germs while you're sitting on the toilet.  While on the toilet, one doesn't often worry about UV rays, food/drink, or vehicles.  
If I've misunderstood, please forgive me!  If your company is truly in the business of providing beautiful toilet seat covers, I am very interested to see how they do.  However, I am not interested in purchasing one for many, many reasons.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":
Google Sniper isn't stopping and it is going up for this new Google Sniper 2. So if you are looking for an easy and effective way of supplementing your income on just a couple of hours per website, consider what is Google Sniper today and see just how successful you could become. 0 is the ability to create the websites using step by step guidelines, just once.

Also visit my web page - web design christchurch

Dear Anonymous, 

UGH RIGHT?  It's like, Google Sniper one, Google Sniper two...what's next?  Google Sniper three?  
I'm not really trying to supplement my income, though--what gave you that idea?  Would that require Google Sniper one, two or three (in my/your dreams!)? 
I'm really thankful that the ability to create the websites using step by step guidelines, just once, is zero.  I totally have zero.

Thank you again!

 Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":
On the other hand, the deep orthography of English makes the role of the phonological code in word recognition than would be the first of three fine courses we played on paphos car hire.
A little something a bit more flexibility with your accounts. The 70-year-old is accused of shooting Ivan Granchev, a 34-year-old Bulgarian on the doorstep of the villas receive.
Feel free to surf to my web-site ... car rental Paphos reviews

Dear Anonymous, 

I think you may have misunderstood my post--it was just about a caffeine overload, not actually about shooting or linguistics, or, somehow, Paphos car hire.
Strange, though, that Paphos keeps coming up in my blog posts!  I will have to check into the orthographical and phonological history of some of the words I'm using.  Does "caffeine" have roots similar to that of "car hire"?  Important stuff!
You know,'re right.  With a little more flexibility with my accounts, the 70-year-old may not have been accused of the shooting.  I pray that the villas receive are able to recover from the tragedy that occurred there. 

Prayers and well wishes, 

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) D...":
I'm new to
developing websites and I was wondering if having your site title relevant to your content really that critical? I notice your title,
"Blogger: The Isht I Buy " does appear to be spot on with what your blog is
about but, I prefer to keep my title less content descriptive and
based more around site branding. Would you think this is a good idea or bad idea?
Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated.

my web-site ... Please visit my site

Hey Anonymous!

I really appreciate you coming to me for website advice.  When I started this free blog a few years ago and spent less than one minute not only thinking about the set up, but also implementing that set up, I thought to myself "This blog is going to be something.  Someday, people reading it will come to me and ask me for advice.  I should put at least one more minute thought into the title, set up and lay out."
However, at that point, the phone rang, and I did not.
That being said, I have a LOT of advice for you.
You're so right in saying that the title of my blog, The Isht I Buy, is a crucial factor in each item I post.  Before I write an entry, post a photo or reply to a comment, I ask myself these questions:
1.  Is this about the isht I buy?
2.  Do I have time to post this right now?
If the content passes both those extremely high bars, I post it.  If it only passes the second bar, but not the first, I still post it.  If it doesn't pass either bar, I wait to post it until I have time.  When I have time, I re-ask those two questions, then inevitably post it, no matter what. 
I don't really understand your question about branding, but I agree with you 100%.  YES.  

Thank you again--I hope your blog sees as much success as mine has.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Final Chapter: I got no money from my deceased...":
Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you're working with? I'm going to start my own blog in the near future
but I'm having a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/
B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I'm looking for something unique.
P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

Check out my homepage: workouts for vertical leap

Dear Anonymous, 

WHAT THE HELL, MAN.   DO YOU KNOW ME OUTSIDE OF THIS BLOG AND THINK I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT?  IF YOU DO, thanks for the concern.  It's kind of you to try and reach me in an anonymous way so I won't be super embarrassed.  IF YOU DON'T, JUST LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE ABOUT THE JUMPING!!!

Also, as you had to visit my site at, it's safe to assume that my platform is, ass.

Best to you!

Razvan M has left a new comment on your post "Dear Dollar Rent-a-Car,":

Damn, all this just to rent a car?
I had no idea it's so hard to rent cars as a company and that thy have a different, bigger price...
After the first two problems you should have quit asking for their services because that's unacceptable.
Renting a car shouldn't require more than a phone call, at least that's my opinion.

Razvan M, 

Thank you.  Thank you for bringing it all back home.  Thank you for the affirmation of my decision to leave Dollar in the dust.  Thank you for your opinion. 

You are why I do what I do.

KEEP THESE COMMENTS COMING PEOPLE.  Off to work on my jumpz.

Monday, April 8, 2013

I WAS (not actually, but easily could have been) DATE-RAPE-DRUGGED BY MY BARISTA

Spoiler alert: everything turned out just fine.  But I did have a crazy two hours.

I have recently been trying to maintain even levels of caffeine intake.  I have a really smart, realistic, honest doctor, and he told me, when I visited to remedy some persistent headaches, that cutting caffeine out of your diet entirely basically has the same effect on headaches as just ensuring that you drink the same amount of caffeine each day.

Makes sense.

So I've been trying to ensure that I have an even two cups of coffee each day, instead of the 1-4 I used to have, depending on the day.

It's easy at work, but not always as easy on the weekend.

So Saturday, I had some reading to do and needed one more coffee to finish off the day's quota, so I decided to walk to my favorite local shop, ordered an iced coffee (love San Diego spring-which-is-really-summer) and got cracking.  I put on my iPod "sweet sweet studies" playlist (that I have effectively maintained since my sophomore year of college, and is largely made up of Enya, Beethoven, some random movie themes and two James Taylor songs), put on my reading glasses (because I am 85 years old and wear glasses OVER my contacts now) and opened up to chapter one.

I HAVE NEVER READ A BOOK THAT WAS SO AMAZINGLY INSIGHTFUL.  Within the first ten pages, I had underlined, circled and bracketed so many points that it looked like a page from a book your kid (yours, specifically. your kid will not stop with the book writing!) got a hold of without your permission and wrote all over it to spite you.  I was so into this book that I could barely stay in my SEAT.

I was so inspired that in the middle of reading, I pulled out my phone, looked through my old contacts and emailed my grad school adviser to see if I could set up a meeting to talk about PhD programs.  If academic reading was this exciting to me after just a few years off, I AM READY TO GO BACK TO GRAD SCHOOL!  Meeting scheduled.

I went back to reading and blowing my own mind when I looked up and caught someone from the table across from me staring at me.  I realized then that I had been seat dancing to Enya.  I CANNOT BEAR TO SIT STILL FOR THIS AMAZING MUSIC.  I do really, really love Enya, but I don't usually dance in my chair to her music...without realizing it...  I awkwardly smiled and tried to keep it together. 

At this point, I realized that I had read,  frantically underlined, circled and bracketed at least a full page without being entirely sure that I'd read the page.  I definitely couldn't actually recall what it was about.

At this time, after I had consumed about half my iced coffee, and the barista walked over and said "Heyyyyy, confession.  You ordered and iced coffee and I accidentally poured you our specialty brew, which is cold-brewed to have three times the amount of caffeine as our regular coffee.  Sorry about that!"


Apparently a lot of caffeine makes me act like other people act when they're on coke.

Good to know.

So I packed up before further embarrassing myself and/or signing up for an additional $100,000 of education, changed playlists and walked home.

I arrived faster than I ever had, and Jonsi has never sounded quite as magical as he did on that walk.  I pretty much felt like I'd just solved all of life's problems, but didn't actually DO anything...I just felt so great about it.

But then I had like a day long headache, so overall, not worth it.  

the recipe that has potential to change my life


If you haven't had it, you haven't lived.  I mean, you clearly have, but I feel strongly enough about Burmese that I like to equate eating it to LIVING.

Here's the downer--San Diego (my sunny home) has no options, LA has like one option, and the next closest option is in the Bay area.  And the quality of the Bay area options makes any other option look ridiculous.  It's just not the same.

Anyway, I have tried for YEARS to find recipes that look similar to what I love AND not so complicated that I'm sure to ruin the dish, and this looks like it may be both.  I cannot wait to try this.

Full disclosure--I was basically just hoping to Pin this, but the actual recipe from the NYT didn't have a picture, so I couldn't...hence this entry.  

Rice Cooker Chicken Biriyani With Saffron Cream

1 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon mild chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 onion cut into chunks
1 2-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 fresh green chili pepper such as jalapeño or serrano, stemmed
3 tablespoons canola oil or ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
6 cloves
6 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
3 cups chicken broth (use low-sodium if canned) mixed with 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch saffron threads mixed with 2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, more for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped mint
1 lime.
Oil for frying
1 onion, thinly sliced
Big handful cashews
Big handful raisins.

1. Cut chicken into bite-size chunks: 6 to 8 pieces from each thigh. In a bowl, mix yogurt and powdered spices. Add chicken, mix well to coat, and set aside.
2. In a food processor, purée onion, ginger, garlic and chili pepper together. Set aside.
3. In a rice cooker, heat oil in cooking bowl on “cook.” When hot, add onion paste and cook, uncovered, until some liquid has evaporated and paste begins to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
4. Add rice and whole spices and stir well. Smooth top and arrange marinated chicken pieces over surface.
5. Gently pour in broth and salt. Cover and let cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes depending on cooker.
6. When done (or when cooker switches to “warm” function), add saffron cream and mix, making sure to scrape and scoop up bottom layer of rice. Sprinkle chopped cilantro and mint on top and re-cover. Let steam 5 minutes more.
7. If making garnishes, heat 1 inch oil in a pot until rippling. Add onion and cook, separating rings, until golden brown. Lift out and drain. Add cashews and raisins to same oil and cook until cashews are golden brown. Lift out and drain.
8. Just before serving, squeeze lime over biriyani and mix very well, fluffing lightly. Scoop onto serving platter and garnish with chopped cilantro and fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
Note: Lacking a rice cooker, biriyani can also be made in a heavy round pot with at least a 3-quart capacity. After adding broth in Step 5, raise heat to bring mixture to a simmer, then immediately reduce heat to very low. For Step 6, turn heat off.