Monday, June 23, 2008


Although I love to use technology to help make my life easier, every once and a while it is nice to roll-up my sleeves and get my hands dirty by doing something the old-fashioned way. A friend of mine is originally from South Africa. I like to help her make original South African food. Today we cooked koeksisters. They are a traditional doughnut-type desert that is coated in syrup. They are very sweet and sticky.

Instead of using an electric mixer or food processor, we decided to make them the traditional way. We sifted the flour, then added butter and mixed the ingredients by hand. This was a slow, but fun process. We then added water and continued to stir the mixture by hand. Again, it was slow and messy, but also fun and relaxing.

After the dough had risen, we did return to using modern conveniences to deep-fry the koeksisters. She has a gas stove and they fried up very nicely on it. We coated them with syrup and chilled them. Then it was time to reap the rewards of our efforts – they tasted delicious! The syrup left my fingers sticky, but what’s life without a little mess.

If anyone wants the recipe for this awesome treat, let me know.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Few Wii Moments of Fun

While I love technology, I am not much of a gamer, although admittedly, back in the day, I was the highest scorer on the Ms. Pac-Mac arcade game at the Coral Springs roller skating center…oh, that dates me. With the exception of chasing Pac-pellets and ghosts, I lack hand-eye coordination.

While I try and warn people about this, they don’t listen. Last week I was hanging out with a bunch of friends, and I stunned them with my atrocious Nintendo Wii skills. I could see my friends inwardly cringe as I attempted to control two objects – the Wii remote and the Wii nunchuck – at the same time. Fortunately, they were all very patient. Since my hand-eye coordination is so bad, they thought I would do better with the Wii Fit, which basically turns your entire body into a game controller. Sadly, I performed no better.

But that’s okay! We had fun, and that’s all that matters. Games are meant to bring us together. They give us a few moments to slip away to another place - to transcend reality and approach upon special places in which we have magical powers or superhuman strength… places where we can live out our fantasies or just escape the harshness of reality for a few sweet hours. Come to think of it, I haven’t chased any ghosts or gobbled up any Pac-pellets lately. Maybe I should carve out a few moments from my hectic life to return to the simple pleasures gaming offers. Maybe I can play Ms. Pac-man on the Wii?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Have you ever walked in a waterfall?

Two weeks ago, a friend and I went to Wisconsin to explore Willow River State Park. I love nature, and after the long, cold Minnesota winter, it was great to get outside and enjoy spring’s mastery. In a matter of a few weeks everything went from being dark and dank to lush and green. Now that the ice in the bodies of water up here has melted, I was able to walk in the Willow River (which is pretty cool because there are shallow parts right in the waterfall). Although the sun was shining brightly, it was only about 55 degrees outside. Undaunted, I stepped into the waterfall. The ice-cold water numbed my toes. I sat on a rock and kept my feet in the freezing water…I kept looking down and counting to make sure I still had all ten toes. After a while, my friend and I dried off our feet and went for a hike.

The next day I had a cold and a sunburn. How was I supposed to know? I’m orginally from south Florida, where you can walk in the ocean year-round. I learned an important lesson: no matter how beautiful it is to walk in a waterfall, my health is more important.

The beautiful park and weather also made for breathtaking pictures - okay, I had a cold so basic functioning was breathtaking in itself!

One of my passions is digital photography. I have a few cameras – both digital and 35mm. The one I like to use the most is my twin-lens digital camera. While twin-lens reflex cameras have been around for about eighty years, digital twin lens cameras have only been on the market for two years. Twin-lens cameras have two lenses that both have the same focal length. Since I prefer to take pictures of landscapes and nature, I have found that the images I capture are richer, more vibrant and give the viewer a feeling of actually being at the location they are gazing upon.

I’m going for a walk now...don’t worry, not in an ice cold waterfall this time!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cleaner teeth, but with drool

A few weeks ago I got an electric toothbrush. I decided I wanted to get one last year, but I generally move slowly on acquistions. Well, I am very glad I got it. It is great! After I brush my teeth with it my mouth feels all fresh and clean just like when leaving the dentist’s office after a cleaning. (At least, that is what I recall it felt like…it has been about five years since I went to a dentist. I guess I’m probably overdue). The electric toothbrush times itself so I now always brush for two minutes at night. Way cool. Being the nostaligic I am I haven’t retired the old non-electric toothbrush. A few years ago a friend gave me a great tip about how they brushed their teeth and I followed his suggestion – I brush my teeth in the morning sans-electirc in the shower while I wash my hair. I know it sounds a bit weird. But it works for me. Anyway, I think the electric toothbrush is way cool, I just haven’t figured out how to stop droolling while I use it. It’s late. Time for bed, but first I need to go brush.