It’s all a game to me – Blogfest

Mouse Trap (board game)Image via Wikipedia
$10 dollars at the toy store (circa 1981)

My favorite games of all time:

1. Mousetrap – the boardgame. This is the game I remember loving as a kid because I had to save up and buy it myself when I was about 10 years old.

ShadowrunImage via Wikipedia

2. Shadowrun – a roll-playing game we played in the early nighties for a few weeks. We had used up our enthusiasm for Dungeons and Dragons. Shadowrun, in a few words, is Blade Runner meets Dungeons and Dragons. Very cool. Requires your full attention and creativity.

3. Crazy 8’s – the card game my mom taught me and my kids are learning. Best thing: No batteries.

READ Favorite Games in the “It’s All Fun & Games Blogfest”

My family chimes in:

Red1 – Howrse, Spore, and Sims 3

Red2 – Howrse, Zoo Tycoon, Spore Galactic Adverture

Mrs. SFDada – Solitaire, Gin Rummy, Sorry

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We Interrupt this blog… Part 2. Cool Beans.

December rolled along and we bounced through the holidays. Holiday visits, chorus events, vacationing with family. What happened in January was really, what rocked the boat most. Red1 became a blogger herself and I started actually getting real web work.

Betty and mother, Julia Kiene. 1939.

Red1 was at her grandfather’s house looking through the cook books her great great grandmother wrote. My daughter’s GGGrandmother is Julia Wolcott Kiene.

Ms. Kiene wrote several cook books for Westinghouse in the 1950’s and according to the Amazon reviews, they are very much loved but out of print. Red1 said how much she’d like to try some of the recipes and her mother suggested that she write about her experiences and “blog her way through the cook book” like the Julie did with the Julia Childs book. We’ve been learning a lot more about Juila Kiene and will definitely be sharing some more terrific stories. Not everyone’s great great grandmother was photographed and written about in Life magazine.

One of her books, The Step-by-Step Cook Book for Girls and Boys, was written specifically for children and has stories mentioning Red1’s grandfather and great uncle. They helped test many of the recipes. This was the book for her.

Castroville's nickname celebrates its status a...Image via Wikipedia

So we talked about her project, explained the Julie/Julia project and movie and set out to make a plan. Red1 pulled out her Girl Scout calendar and started writing page numbers of recipes on the weekends. We plotted out a good bit of the year. I was really impressed and we started cooking. was born. We plan, cook, eat and talk about the experience. We are recording the interviews and turning those into brief posts that explore the differences in the way people cooked in the 1950’s and now. One of the observations: Sometimes she would say, let something thaw for several hours before you start. Red1 explains that now we can defrost things in the microwave oven.

There’s a cute story about the name of the site, Mrs. SFDaddy and I met in art school about the time, when saying “cool beans” became popular. Translation: “that’s cool.” She got really sick of hearing it and started adding “and groovy artichoke hearts” when ever anyone said, “cool beans.” I always thought she was quoting a movie, but I should have known better. She isn’t one to quote movies, that was more of a trait my other friends and I shared. After several Google searches, I said to her, “You must have made that up.” She about hit me.

So, basically the thing that has kept me from posting and nurturing this site were a few other sites. Now that I have a couple more plates to spin, I have to learn to keep them all from wobbling around.

These are good problems to have. I’m thankful. Cool Beans.


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Water water every where

At our house, we drink a lot of water. We drink it filtered from the refrigerator dispenser. You press a cup up against a lever that releases chilled and filtered drinking water into your glass.  It’s lovely. We wanted more.

We change the filter in our refrigerator on schedule, but having the option at the tap appeals to us.  Ms. SF Daddy installed a PUR water filter a the kitchen sink a few weeks ago. After a couple of weeks, the thing started to completely fall apart.

It started out slow. Instead of a clean circular jet of water pouring down into sink we had a spray shooting down like the spokes of a twisted umbrella.

“We’ll just have to take this back and get a new one.”

We lived with it for about a week before the filter part literally exploded on me. Water shot up at my face and  hit the ceiling.

I do not claim to be useful with a wrench by any means, but soon after that–I had to let my kids get sprayed a couple of times–I took the whole thing off and found a big gaping whole in the metal mesh that aerates the water. It looked like it was rusting.

I found the original hardware for the faucet and it’s all back to normal.

In the United States, “normal” means I could drink the water straight from the tap. Sure, it’s full of fluoride and chlorine, but it’s quite drinkable. I’m told the chlorine keeps it from giving you gunk from the pipes. See:
The fluoride (See: is good for you teeth.

(Insert debate about these chemicals here if we want to start missing the point.)

Excellent. Isn’t that great? Even though I have a few stumbles with a few pieces of plastic we picked up at The Home Depot, we don’t have it that bad. I don’t have to walk miles with a  vessel of contaminated water everyday to ration out to my cooking, cleaning and drinking.

This post was inspired by Blog Action Day. I hope you get a chance to read more about the state of Water in the world.

Do you enjoy clean, drinkable water from your tap?