Category Archives: News

One More Reason to Start a Fitness Program.

25959Excess weight may be a more important factor in many forms of cancer, including breast cancer, than family history. A recent Fitness magazine article states:

“Women think breast cancer is mainly related to family history,” says Melinda Irwin, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale School of Medicine. “But in truth, only about 10 percent of cases are. That means 90 percent of breast cancer may be caused by environmental or lifestyle factors like weight.” The article continues,

In a groundbreaking study published several years ago in the New England Journal of Medicine, women who weighed the most died of cancer at a 62 percent higher rate than those who were slimmer. The researchers blamed excess weight for up to half of all deaths from breast cancer alone. “The scary thing is that even as more and more research shows a link between weight and cancer, women are becoming heavier and less active,” Irwin says. She and other experts worry that this could lead to a rise in cancer cases down the road.

Click here to read the full article on Weight Gain and Breast Cancer by Richard Laliberte.

Click here for more Fitness Magazine.

Fruit Fly Trap Update

My fruit fly trap is finally working efficiently! First, I tried a rolled paper funnel in a wine bottle with cider vinegar in the bottom but the flies still preferred the fruit on the windowsill. I rolled the funnel narrower and cut the funnel opening larger but although lots more entered, some were able to fly back out. The wine bottle opening was too small to fit a piece of cantaloupe and that appears to be their favorite food so I tried a mason jar with a funnel. The mason jar was too short, placing the funnel just above the bait and again, many flew out. I finally decided on a tall glass with a funnel cut from an envelope. The funnel is flatter and has a smaller opening at the point.  You can see the fruit flies inside the glass in the last picture. (for original post and links, see “Thank You” post from Sep 25th)

We went to WordCamp!

Scott and I attended a WordCamp in Fremont this weekend. We heard speakers lecture on various aspects of blogging and WordPress for a whole day.  We arrived early, bought coffee at Peets, and then headed over to the Adobe campus. I revved up the laptop but my aircard wouldn’t connect. I guess we were too deep in the basement for it. Scott got me linked to the Wi-Fi just in time because it only accepted a certain numbers of users before refusing any further connections. I really enjoyed being able to check things that the speakers were talking about and to read the tweets about WordCamp all day while listening to everyone around me bitch about not having Internet and smacking their MacBooks in frustration. We learned about different ways to update your blog and the changes coming in the next version of WP, heard some super technical, jargon laden lectures that only Scott could comprehend, and some cool ideas for widgets to add to the ol’ blog.  My favorite lecture was Ian Lurie, who critiqued three different blogs. I heard that the lectures are all supposed to be posted on the WP Seattle site, but I don’t see them yet. If you want to see the blogs and his critiques, you may email me for my notes.

Thank you!

Thank you all for the fun party! It was great to see everyone and to catch up on news. Along with the usual snackage we served pumpkin pie in honor of Autumn and Rena brought a German chocolate cake, num. Kevin described a way to make a fruit-fly trap from a wine bottle.  We always have an infestation of fruit flies this time of year and we always have wine bottles around so I made one right away. You just pour some cider vinegar into the wine bottle and then tape a paper funnel into the neck. The fruit flies fly into the funnel but then can’t get back out. Here is the website of the University of Kentucky featuring this type of a trap, but the wine bottle looks much cooler than theirs does!

The Winter Solstice occurs on December 21, so our next party will be on Saturday, the 19th. If you want to know when those solstices and equinoxes happen, or if you’d like to know which stars are visible on a given evening, then it is time to order your Farmers Almanac for next year. Check out my favorite feature: the “best days” timetable. Don’t start 2010 without it!

Rob is a Therapy Dog!

Breaking News! Rob passed the TDI therapy dog test and the AKC Canine Good Citizen test today. I am so proud of him! The evaluator did a teeth and toes check and a quick brushing just to prove he was manageable. Then Rob had people in wheelchairs, on walkers, and crutches petting him on his head and talking loudly while a kid ran laps around us. He had an umbrella opened in his face and bowls clanged over his head and I had to leave him and go out of sight for three minutes. He was a trouper and did great. Moreover, this all has to be done with no treats and no corrections.

Usually, being left with a stranger is the hardest part for a dog but I’ve given Rob lots of practice at short separations and he got lucky and got a teenage girl to flirt with while I was gone. The only part that was hard for him was walking past the three giant milkbones on the floor. He walked by and didn’t touch them but he didn’t want anyone else having a chance at them either and actually growled really low when the next dog was called out, but no one else heard him. I have never worked on that with him because it has never come up before.

Click to check out the Therapy Dogs International website. The Tail Waggin Tutors (children reading to dogs) is what I’d like to focus on. Maybe the new library will want to get a program started.  If you are in need of a good cry, read the stories on the DSR (Disaster Stress Relief) page.

Click to check out the Canine Good Citizen program webpage.

Addendum: I didn’t realize it until after I posted, but we actually brought Robert home as a six month old on June 6th of  ’07. Today is our second anniversary.

Who is the State Dog of New Hampshire?

Chinook News!

Mom forwarded this link from the New Hampshire News, which says that Robert and Chinooks like him will most likely become the official state dog of New Hampshire. This bill was the idea of a seventh grade teacher and her class and she says the students did most of the work involved in getting it passed in the State House and Senate. What a great way to learn about the legislative process, although one does have to wonder about the 23 house representatives who voted against it. The bill was passed unanimously in the Senate and is now on its way to the Governor for signing.

Since most breeds of dog seem to have originated in Europe, New Hampshire is one of very few states that can actually boast that they have a dog breed that originated there. The first Chinook was bred in 1917 and he was named Chinook. He led Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition and became a household name at the time when he didn’t return from that trip. The Chinook Trail in NH was named in honor of him and all the signs have his picture on them.  Also, Boeing’s Vetrol division, maker of the Chinook helicopter, had a Chinook named Charger as a mascot.

Click here to watch a short news video about the story and featuring 9 Chinooks.

For more factoids, click the American Kennel Club.

For more history of the breed, click The Chinook Owners Association.

Wrap & Roll

Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence. Abigail Adams ( 1744 – 1818 ), 1780

For more Abigail Adams quotations:  click WikiQuote

Well, the class was excellent! It was a spinning technique called Wrap & Roll, taught by its originator, Sarah Anderson. Coilspinning is a cool-looking plying effect but the core yarn gets overtwisted which makes for a very stiff finished product that unwinds if released from tension. Sarah came up with a technique that alleviates this problem by using a spindle to hold the core yarn. You can see her spinning this way, using a wheel and spindle here (part 1) and here (part 2).

I really wasn’t getting the technique at all until it finally occurred to me that my spatial-perception-learning-disability-thing was complicating a very simple process and that the way the spindle was spinning was the way it was supposed to be spinning and I didn’t need to keep stopping it and spinning it the other way. Sheesh, Is that so me, or what? At least I’ve gotten to where I can think it through, remember I have a problem with stuff like left/right and clockwise/widdershins and save myself a lot of frustration. So, I got it figured out, then Scott joined me, and we had Red Cossacks at Kaleenka‘s kiosk, strolled the barns, petted goats, didn’t buy any goats, walked Robert and then left for home. Once home, I practiced my new skill, with diligence, until 2 am just to make sure I had really gotten it. I’ll post pix when I take some.