Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I Love the Internet

Everyone's talking about "switching off" and otherwise not using the Internet as much as we do, and yes, I acknowledge the risk of inter-acting more with virtual friends than real friends, however, I'm a big fan of the Internet and all such things. Why?

Search and Rescue, for a start - The Ball & Chain drove to Detroit last week, usually about a four hour drive from Chicago. Unfortunately, he chose the night of the historic deluge to do this and ended up stuck in traffic, in a couple of feet of flood water, with all the roads impassable and every side street too.

To cut a long story short after four hours sitting in the car, he managed to get to nearby Ann Arbor in Michigan, (via some very dodgy neighborhoods).  However, because all the college students were moving in (with parental assistance), every hotel there was booked. Ball & Chain began talking about driving to Toledo, Ohio - over fifty miles away! At which point I jumped on the Internet, found the nearest hotels to where he was parked, called them and eventually got him a room. (He got to bed safely at about 2am, but ironically, never made it to Detroit since it was all still impassable the following morning.)

Shopping - I loathe shopping. Be it cereal or ski jackets, I will do almost anything to avoid it. I have been online food shopping for about twenty years now and swear by it. As long as you know what 6 grams versus 32 grams looks like, it's pretty foolproof these days. Clothes shopping is a little more risky in that every brand seems to size their clothes differently, but hey, if you stick to a few web sites it's pretty reliable.

Weather predictions - If you live somewhere like Chicago, where the temps can drop thirty degrees (Fahrenheit) in a few hours, looking up the local forecast is invaluable. If you click on one of those doppler radar maps you can actually see clouds moving your way, and the clever color chart also tells you how severe the storms will be. No more sticking your head out the door and hopng you won't need a fleece.

Cooking - I don't really bother with the myriad of recipe books in my kitchen. Truth be told, I have one or two faves in each book, but otherwise don't use them. These days, when I have an urge to cook (which isn't often) I simply hop on the laptop. It's usually more driven by an over-abundance of a certain ingredient and the wish not to waste food, so I simply type in what I have and voila - a few suggestions as to what to do. This week saw three bags of carrots in the fridge vegetable drawer - what can I say, I was out of town last week and the place went to pot. Anyhoo, not wanting to waste said carrots, I made carrot bread (which really should be called cake as it was just as sweet and yummy) and curried carrot soup. Many recipe sites even have comment sections where other cooks (ha!) can suggest adding or going light on one ingredient or another.

I also like social media sites, but let's face it, - they're more of a great way to waste your time than a practical addition to one's day to day life.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tomatoes and Smelly Boys

Very busy at the moment hence the lack of bloggy chatter.

However, I do have a new post up at the BBC America web site for your delectation, if you'd care to check it out.

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to pick my little guy up from a one week sleepover camp in Michigan. If last year is anything to go by, he will have showered all week in the lake and I'll have to keep the windows open on the 2.5 hour drive back!


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