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July 2, 2008

Gallery of Unfortunate 4th Of July Cards

The Gallery of Unfortunate 4th Of July Cards

Cap’n Wacky’s comments aded a dimension of their own to dozens of cards from the era when anything went.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 12:29 PM | Permalink

June 30, 2008

Blogs upgrade is under way

One by one, projo blogs will take on a new look and new functions as we upgrade to Movable Type 4 today.

We expect there’ll be some cleanup, and that some new features won’t be useful immediately. Blogs will remain available through the upgrade, although new postings may be delayed.

I hope it goes smoothly.

7:21 a.m.: The 7 to 7 news blog is converting now, so the morning crew are publishing the news to the Projo BizBlog. The headlines at the top of the homepage point there — it’s the ad hoc news blog for now.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 6:20 AM | Permalink

June 29, 2008

Lemonades for a hot day

Vanilla Bean Lemonade

Top ades: Lemonade recipes to freshen up your summer

Looking good to me, The Rocky Mountain News’s

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade
Serves 5

2 cups water
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cups club soda, cold
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a small saucepan, combine the water, honey and ginger.
Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes.

Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the mixture into it, discarding the ginger.

Transfer the mixture to a pitcher and cool completely.

Stir in the soda and lemon juice.

Serve over ice.

– April/May issue of Taste of Home magazine

Nutritional information per serving: 218 cal., 0 fat, 0 chol., 60 g carb., 0 pro., 0 fiber, 26 mg sodium

Vanilla Bean Lemonade

Serves 8, makes 2 quarts

12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
6 cups cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract, to taste
2 large lemons, quartered and seeded

* In a 3-quart pitcher, combine the lemonade concentrate, water, sugar and salt.

* Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

* If you’re using vanilla beans, split the beans lengthwise down the middle and scrape out the seeds into the lemonade mixture. Discard the beans.

* Stir until the seeds have separated.

Alternatively, add vanilla extract to taste.

* Let the lemonade steep for at least 10 minutes.

* Strain the lemonade, if desired, through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any vanilla-bean residue.

* Squeeze each lemon wedge into the pitcher, then add the rinds.

* Chill until very cold, and serve in tall glasses over ice.

– Fred Thompson’s Lemonade, Harvard Common Press, 2002)

Nutritional information per serving: 110 cal., 0 fat, 0 chol., 29 g carb., 0 pro., 0 fiber, 67 mg sodium

There’s more there at the link — Watermelon Lemonade, Old-Fashioned Lemonade, Lemonade Float.

Homemade Limoncello from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

2 lb. lemons 1 quart (4 c.) clear grain alcohol such as vodka 6 c. purified water 2 1/2 c. cane (or granulated) sugar

With a very fine grater, zest the lemons. Put zest and vodka in a tightly sealed jar or bottle large enough to accommodate at least a quart of liquid.

Place container in a cool, dark and dry place for at least 3 to 5 days. Shake the jar at least twice a day. Zest will turn white when flavoring is done. Strain the zest from the liquid through a fine sieve; discard the zest and set aside the flavored vodka.

Place 6 cups water in a saucepan over low heat and add sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear.

Cool syrup to room temperature and mix with lemon vodka. Strain the sweetened lemon vodka through several changes of coffee filters and store in tightly sealed bottles in the refrigerator. Chill and enjoy.


Also from up north there,

Iced Watermelon Cooler Spiked With Lime. For four people, you want 8 cups of ripe, sweet watermelon (cut in 1/2-inch cubes) with the seeds removed. Put them in a blender or food processor with the grated rind of 1/4 medium lime and the juice of the lime. Purée. Add sugar to taste. If needed for contrast, add more lime juice. Strain the purée through a sieve, pressing down to get all the juice from the pulp. Chill. Moisten glass rims with lime juice, dip them in sugar and fill with ice. Add the watermelon water and garnish with skewers of melon chunks and mint leaves. Gin, vodka or rum are all good additions.

The Stamford Advocate get into process (Main squeeze):

For easy, convenient lemonade that can be made in a moment’s notice, prepare lemonade syrup similar to the concentrate found in cans in the supermarket freezer case. Here’s how: boil sugar and water for a few minutes, add fresh lemon peel and juice, and let the mixture steep for at least an hour; strain the syrup and keep it in the refrigerator. When you want a drink, mix some of the syrup with water or club soda.

All variations spring from this.

Concentrate: Think frozen. Why not use frozen lemonade for the Tulsa World’s strawberry lemonade ice pops, with fresh strawberries? It’s almost there anyway.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 10:33 AM | Permalink

Happy anniversary to us

Five years ago today, Captain Joe Dempsey — whom I’ve known since St. Augustine’s School — ferried Joe Landry and I down the river in his Water Taxi to the Hot Club, where we were married by Superior Court Justice Patricia Hurst, my attorney in a child custody suit in 1984. That child was my maid of honor, her 6-year-old son the ring bearer.

It had rained for days, and would the following days, but this one wedding day was sunny, pleasant and perfect.

The music floating out over the water came from Mark Taber, a Providence original, playing solo keyboard on the sunny deck as he had at Leo’s for so many years.

We looked out at a gathering of happy faces, people who had been part of something that got us to here; for once, we knew almost everyone in the crowd.

Wes’ Rib House catered. Two bands played. The head bartender asked how I wanted my drinks, weak or strong. “Very weak,” I said. “I gotta last.”

Around sunset, a club manager asked if we wanted to keep the party private or let in customers.

“Open it up, let ’em in,” we said.

I’m still running into people who say, “You don’t know me, but I was at your wedding!”

Joe and I are still having a great time.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 10:15 AM | Permalink

June 28, 2008

Blogs upgrade on hold

Our blogs upgrade, slated for this morning, will probably be postponed. A server glitch at the Texas internet provider that hosts the blogs hasn’t been resolved yet.

I’ve spent a few months building the upgraded templates and functions and want to get them launched, but it’s out of my hands.

Hot day, headed for a cool drink and a good novel.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 2:24 PM | Permalink

June 27, 2008

Roots mp3s: Jimmy Cliff & Joe Higgs Live in ’75


Jimmy Cliff & Joe Higgs, Live in Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov 11, 1975, from BigO, Singapore.

Jimmy Cliff calls Joe Higgs, the “Father of Reggae.” According to Higgs’ website (, Higgs was hugely influential in the birth of ska, rock steady and reggae forms of Jamaican music, and was widely respected as a composer, arranger, and performer, but perhaps most of all as a teacher. Among those he tutored were Bob Marley, Derrick Harriott, Peter Tosh, Bob Andy, The Wailing Souls and Bunny Wailer.

But Higgs really caught the public’s attention in the early to mid-’70s when he toured with Jimmy Cliff. At that time, Cliff was hot off the success of the movie and soundtrack, The Harder They Come (1972). For this 1975 concert in Ann Arbor, Cliff continued to perform a number of tracks from the movie.

Joe Higgs died of cancer on December 18, 1999. He was 59.

The first disc starts with the five minute Drum Song, a sweet jazzy warmup that says “We’re starting, people…” and sets the tone for a concert that feels as laid back as Jamaica.

It’s not the best recording — Higgs is poorly miked on his first tune — but there’s a kindness throughout, with gentle percussion and Cliff’s voice young and clear. A soulful, nearly nine-minute Many Rivers Too Cross is a highlight, as is the more upbeat Going Mad.

The second set will be available Saturday.

Jimmy Cliff holds a sweet spot in my own history: I wrote a review of the movie The Harder They Come in 1978 for the very first issue of The NewPaper, which you may now know as The Providence Phoenix.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 7:30 AM | Permalink

Projo blogs upgrade set for Saturday

Saturday morning we plan to upgrade the active projo blogs to a new version of the Movable Type software. All blogs will remain available during this process. Afterwards you’ll see a new look and some new features, and we’ll welcome your comments about them.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 7:00 AM | Permalink

June 26, 2008

Tattoos; Word of the Day in Congress; Astronaut deadline; Dubai’s moving skyscraper


Strange and Beautiful Tattoos. Except for a couple that build the navel into the design, most are on the broad canvas of backs.

Related: The Skins They Carried: Military tattoos in the age of Iraq. Texas Observer.

To Ink or Not to Ink: 10 Questions to Consider at, a catalog of designs.

On the record: Capitol Words: The most often used word was on any given day in the U.S Congress. Friday’s was “oil,” Tuesday’s was “veterans.”

Space, but little time: NASA – Deadline Approaching to Apply for New NASA Astronaut Class

Maya 10k: Can You Live With Just 100 Things?. You gotta be kidding. Count my grapes.


There’s hubris in moving parts: Dubai plans ‘moving’ skyscraper. BBC.

The world’s first moving building, a 80-storey tower with revolving floors giving an shifting shape, will be built in Dubai, its architect says.

The Dynamic Tower design is made up of 80 pre-fabricated apartments which will spin independently of one another.

“It’s the first building that rotates, moves, and changes shape,” said architect David Fisher, who is Italian, at a news conference in New York.

“This building never looks the same, not once in a lifetime,” he added…

There’s a computer animation of the still-conceptual building at the link.

Train: containers: Take another look at the Singapore train plan, a very intelligent concept — the train doesn’t stop, the people go up to a car atop the train that will slide to a stop at their station. The car detaches and coasts to its berth on its own level as the train continues on below.

If you snooze, they really can’t wait for you to get up top to your container. (It’s container shipping at root.)

I blogged this briefly Monday, but the idea grows on me.

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 2:43 AM | Permalink

June 25, 2008

The day Bill Gates tried to download a Windows program

Full text: An epic Bill Gates e-mail rant Todd Bishop, who writes the Seattle P-I’s Microsoft blog, went back through internal e-mails turned over in antitrust suits against Microsoft to find the record of this day in 2003 when founder Bill Gates got to experience his own product firsthand.

I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack … so I went to They have a download place so I went there…

…So after more than an hour of craziness and making my programs list garbage and being scared and seeing that is a terrible website I haven’t run Moviemaker and I haven’t got the plus package.

Todd quotes at length, and offers a link to the pdf.

But Gates didn’t fix it, did he?

Posted by Sheila Lennon  at 11:24 PM | Permalink

Keep going: Page back through previous weeks’ entries

my passport photo
blogging since 2002
garden blogs
archived headlines

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The Providence (R.I.) Journal

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Indexes & Group blogs

Greater R.I. Blogs
Providence Geeks
CyberJournalist: News Weblogs
Ms. Magazine blogroll
What She Said!
Southern New England bloggers (Gone, but here are its links)
Slashdot Politics
Blog Sisters
Shell Extension City
Daypop Top 40 Links
Lost Remote
Mirror project
I Want Media
Microcontent News
E-Media Tidbits
Through the Viewfinder
Daily Rotation
news we can use
Blog Search Engine

Jim Romenesko
Shelley Powers
Doc Searls
JD Lasica
Tom Mangan
Tom Matrullo
Tom Shugart
Kevin Moore
Rebecca Blood
Cory Doctorow
David Weinberger
Lou Josephs
Dan Gillmor
Making Light
Jeneane Sessum
Liz Donovan
Robot Wisdom
Dave Winer
“Salam Pax”
Baghdad Burning
Ft. Boise
Henry Gould
Wayne Robins
FollowMe Here
kalilily time
Judy Watt
Obscure Store
wood s lot
The Shifted Librarian

NASA image links
Multimedia gallery
Image exchange (search)
JSC Digital Image


Rhode Island
Library Lookup:

See a book on Amazon,
reserve it at the library!

Drag the ‘PPL’ link above to your browser’s personal toolbar folder or links toolbar; click PPL from a book’s page at Amazon, etc., to search the library catalog and request the book