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Eager Beavers

Posted on May 17th 2009 by Amy in Birds, Environment, Forest Preserves, Nature

We went out birding with the Lake-Cook Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society this morning. We had a great time, saw lots of birds and met some really nice people.

While walking near the Des Plaines River at Ryerson Woods, we saw this tree.

Eager Beaver (1/2)

Eager Beaver (2/2)

Now that’s one eager beaver! The tree looks about ready to fall, don’t you think?

Loontastic Saturday

Posted on April 5th 2009 by Amy in Birds

On Saturday we went on a birding excursion, the popular Looney Trip, sponsored by the Evanston North Shore Bird Club.

Common Loon

We’d seen our first Common Loons just days before and this outing was a great opportunity to see more as well as meet a bunch of local birders and check out some new birding spots. I wrote a report of the day on my birding blog.

Happy Holi!

Posted on March 12th 2009 by Amy in Events, Travel

Today marks the day when India plays Holi. Holi is the festival of colors and we had a lot of fun when we were in India during Holi in 2006. This Bollywood music video gives you an idea of the chaos that is Holi.

Frying pan foul-up

Posted on March 7th 2009 by Amy in Shopping & Stuff

We used to like to make fries at home. In Holland we had a very nice large black pot with a wire fry basket insert and a glass lid. It was perfect to use for stove-top frying, and we loved it. So why the heck didn’t we bring it with us?! Because it was big, bulky, and breakable, and we thought it would be easily replaced. Ha!

We looked for frying pans with baskets at all our local shops (Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Walmart, Target, etc) but they only sell electric fryers. So I had a look online. Plenty of shops sell minuscule pots of 4 quarts or less. I figured we need at least 7 quarts, but even bigger would be better (I guess our beloved old one was 9 or 10). I found one restaurant specialty shop that sold baskets and fryers separately at reasonable prices, but shipping was crazy (about the same price as the implements themselves). Then I found out that Farberware makes a 7Q fryer with a basket, and that I could purchase it from with reasonable shipping costs. Yay! I placed my order.

7Q Fryer

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Do you Twitter?

Posted on March 6th 2009 by Amy in Websites & Tools

Twitter has been in the news a lot lately. From stranded mountaineers using Twitter to audience members tweeting from the floor during President Obama’s address to Congress, the media seems caught up in a Twitter frenzy. I first remember hearing about Twitter in the media when a student in Egypt tweeted his way out of jail. Twitter also came up during the Mumbai terrorist attacks and eye-witness photos from the Miracle on the Hudson flashed through Twitter like lightening.
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Just how bad is the peanut butter recall?

Posted on February 4th 2009 by Amy in Food, Life in America, Shopping & Stuff

So bad that the United States FDA (Food and Drug Administration) website has made an embeddable search widget. You can search for which peanut butter products are included in the salmonella outbreak. OMG, really?

FDA Salmonella Typhimurium Outbreak 2009. Flash Player 9 is required.

Yep, really.

Organic Arby

Posted on January 19th 2009 by Amy in Personal, Photos

Arby is 14 years old and today, for the first time ever, he went inside a paper bag. He went in for about 30 seconds first, much too short for us to grab a photo. But a few minutes later, he went back inside and even laid down in it for a couple of minutes!

Arby in a bag

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2001 Obama appearance on Chicago TV tonight

Posted on January 16th 2009 by Amy in Chicago, Illinois, Life in America, Politics

Back when he was an Illinois state senator, Barack Obama made an appearance on WTTW Channel 11’s restaurant review program “Check, Please!” The show never aired… until tonight. Local viewers can check out the full episode on Channel 11 tonight at 8pm or the rerun on Tuesday (that’s Inauguration Day!!) at 4pm. Meanwhile, here are two clips from the shelved episode.

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The story of a micro-loan

Posted on January 14th 2009 by Amy in Personal

Back in December, CafePress (CP) forum moderators and CafePress Voice (CPV) members formed a giving team at and challenged the CP community to a fund-off. A team of shopkeepers and a team of CP employees took up the challenge. Kiva is a truly wonderful organization, helping provide loans made by anyone in the world to entrepreneurs who might otherwise not be able to get a loan. This video explains the Kiva concept by showing what happens when a team of accountants in London makes a $25 loan to someone in Cambodia.

A Fistful Of Dollars: The Story of a Loan
from Kieran Ball on Vimeo.

We were proud to join the shopkeeper team, Butterscotch Brigade.

How popular is your name?

Posted on January 13th 2009 by Amy in Funny, Life in America

I came across this fun site called Poke My Name the other day. You can enter any name and see how popular it is in the United States. During my entire school career, even when I was in grade school classes of just 12 total students, there was always at least one other Amy in my class. And I never knew anyone named Arthur until I turned 26. So I was very surprised to find that Amy is less popular a name than Arthur! More »