09 September 2010

Linkage, Volume 125

With a new job starting in a month, I suspect I won't have much time left for blogging. I never was very regular about it, but now my posting will be even thinner. Please enjoy this installment of Linkage, as it may be the last batch.


Unreasonable Homeowners Association Rules
And How to Get Around Them with Some Imagination
via Miss Cellania

Design to Annoy
re-design product packaging to discourage sale and use of the product
via Evil Mad Scientist

PingChat!
free chat application for iPhone and iPod Touch
via Broken Secrets


And a couple of videos...

Ma and Pa Kettle do Math
via Miss Cellania

Turbo-Encabulator
via Forkridge

27 August 2010

Gigi's Cupcakes

Tonight my very sweet friend brought me six of the most delicious cupcakes I have ever had. Gigi's Cupcakes are packaged in this adorable green-and-brown gift box.


Every one of these cupcakes is moist and delectable. I am not usually a fan of icing, because icing is typically made with shortening and is waxy and tasteless. Gigi's icing, however, is all either buttercream or cream cheese based. Gigi's heaps their incredibly creamy icing on each fantastic cupcake.

Clockwise from top-left, we have Pina Colada, Strawberry Shortcake, Tiger Tails, Key Lime, Carrot Cake, and Midnight Magic.

My sweet friend provided a review of each one:
Pina Colada: "Like a pina colada, it was like a pina colada in cupcake form, complete with a cherry and an umbrella on top!" This one was my favorite. Pineapple is a perfect flavor this time of year.
Strawberry Shortcake: "True to its name, the cake was a vanilla cake with real strawberries on the inside, with a lightly flavored strawberry icing."
Tiger Tails: "Supposedly, this was raspberry-infused coconut on top of vanilla icing on top of vanilla cake, but we couldn't taste the raspberry." This reminded me of Hostess Sno Balls snack cakes.
Key Lime: "Sweeter icing with a tangy cupcake. Not your typical mix, but extremely good. Comes complete with pie crust and gummy lime candy on top!"
Carrot Cake: "A perfect way to introduce fall - a moist carrot cake with true cream cheese frosting." I thought the carrots were a little too crunchy, but it was still very sweet and yummy.
Midnight Magic: "A cupcake that is truly magical! Dark chocolate cake topped with creamy icing and chocolate chips."

Gigi's Cupcakes: Highly Recommended
1977 South Hurstbourne Parkway
Louisville, KY 40220-1645
502-499-4998

26 August 2010

Tucci Benucch

Minneapolis is home to the Mall of America.
As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Mall of America® features something for everyone – over 520 stores, 50 restaurants and attractions galore, including Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest Nickelodeon® theme park. Plus there’s no sales taxon clothing or shoes!
On the main level of the mall, just inside the West entrance, is tucked a fabulous Italian restaurant. Tucci Benucch is styled like a cozy countryside home, with unique dining areas like a sunroom, living room, and patio.


Everyone gets to start their meal with a basket of soft, flavorful bread and a dipping dish of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and shredded Parmesan cheese.


I ordered the Bruschetta appetizer with hand-pulled mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, and aged balsamic vinegar on toasted Italian bread rounds.


For my entree, I had the Tortellini Tucci, cheese-filled tortellini with prosciutto di Parma, roasted mushrooms, peas, and Alfredo sauce. The server topped my dish with cracked black pepper and shaved Parmesan cheese. This dish was creamy, filling, and comforting.

Tucci Benucch: Highly Recommended
Mall of America
114 W. Market
Bloomington, MN 55425
952-853-0200

25 August 2010

Houlihan's

Wednesday, I went to an old favorite, a chain restaurant called Houlihan's. Just walking in, you might expect it to be a local joint. The dining room and bar are styled with rich, dark woods and low lighting with individual lights at each table.

Houlihan's dinner menu is divided into the usual sections, with an new "Small Plates" menu in test at that location. These smaller items can be shared by the table, or you can order 2-4 of them as a full meal.

Tuscan White Bean Salad with goat cheese, tomatoes, balsamic, and focaccia crisps.

Grilled Shrimp Azteca with guacamole, sweet corn tamale cake, and pico de gallo.

For dessert (the only thing I remembered to photograph), I had S'mores!

S’mores Fondue Crock with warm chocolate ganache under melty marshmallows, with crystalized graham cracker sticks and strawberries for dipping. Yum!!

Houlihan's: Highly Recommended
12725 Elm Creek Blvd N
Maple Grove, MN 55369
763-494-5380

24 August 2010

Hell's Kitchen

Tonight, I dined in Hell.

Hell's Kitchen, that is.

This unique restaurant is located in the basement of a building in Downtown Minneapolis, MN, under several chain restaurants that reside at street level.

This is the wall I was greeted with when I exited the elevator on the Lower Level.

















I had been to Hell's Kitchen twice before, once for breakfast (Lemon-Ricotta Hotcakes) and once for dinner (BBQ Bison Bacon Burger).

The restaurant has a stage up front that features live music most evenings, including weekdays.

You might expect "dungeon" or "goth" as the theme, but the decor is classically Gothic without being overdone at all.
















On the recommendation of my server, I ordered the BBQ Baby Back Ribs. The half-slab of pork ribs were tender and flavorful, with a peppery sauce that left my lips tingling from the delicious spices.

The rib plate came with homemade coleslaw that packed a surprising spicy punch!

For the side, I chose sweet potato fries with chipotle-mayo dipping sauce. The fries were perfectly crispy and sweet - a nice compliment to the spicy meal.
















Along with the ribs, my server brought the little dish in the corner of this photo - it had a cup with a couple tablespoons of very hot water, a lemon wedge, and a tiny coin-shaped compressed towel (like this one). I was instructed to squeeze the lemon in the water and then drop in the towel. It was such a clever idea, and it was so much more effective for cleaning the 'que off my hands than the usual packaged moist towelette.
















The aftermath...
















Everything on the dessert menu looked absolutely fantastic, so I opted for the Nefarious Mystery Dessert. I was brought a moist chocolate cake topped with vanilla bean mousse icing.
















Hell's Kitchen: Highly Recommended
80 South 9th St.
Minneapolis MN 55402
612-332-4700

Flying















I just love to fly. Two hours in an airplane sure beats 14 hours in a car! Today's flight was only about half-filled, so I had a pair of seats all to myself. I started out in the aisle seat then scooted over to the window seat when I realized that no one would be sitting beside me. It was nice to actually stretch out on an airplane!















I think it's really neat when the sky is full of big, puffy clouds that you get to fly up through. The photos don't even begin to capture how cool it is to fly over a nearly solid sheet of fluffy clouds.

Linkage, Volume 124: Food I want to make

Low Country Shrimp Boil
original post: How to Host a Shrimp Boil
via Skip to My Lou

Grilled Salt-and-Vinegar Potatoes
via Flexible Dreams

Cream Cheese Mints
via Skip to My Lou

10 Minute Banana Bread
via On a Bento Frenzy

Zucchini Lasagna
original post: My Mom's Zucchini Lasagna
via Bento Babe

Cheese Straws
via Smitten Kitchen

Honey Madelines
via Serious Eats

23 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 123

My Party: Claire
the theme for a special-needs girl's second birthday party was, "life handed her lemons...she made lemonade!"
via Ohdeedoh

Cool Like You
Being Cool Has Two Rules You Must Remember
via Miss Cellania

Black Tie Beach
latest mission from Improv Everywhere, with great stories in the comments
via Improv Everywhere

18 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 122

Red Eye
illustrations from New York to Berlin
via Neatorama

Real Superheroes
costumed crusaders in the southern United States
via Miss Cellania

The Majestic Plastic Bag
a mockumentary in support of reusable bags
via Neatorama

17 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 121

Tattoo Translator
blog dedicated to translating Asian character tattoos - they don't always mean what you think they mean...
via Plime

Patterns for Colouring
free patterns to download, print, and color
via Neatorama

La vie des animaux selon les hommes
The life of an animal, interpreted by man
via Miss Cellania

12 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 120

My Space
ingenious cardboard folding playhouse
via swissmiss

"It's great to be alive!"
graphic pamphlet for children, detailing the Danger Around Every Corner
via Neatorama

Song Lyrics as Google Maps
Start in Queens, NY
1. Head Up
2. Head towards East Side
Arrive at Deluxe Apartment in the sky
via Plime

06 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 119

$0.00
letter from Comcast threatening disconnection over $0.00 past due bill
via The J-Walk Blog

Don't be a Spock
Adjust your monitor height
via Neatogeek

Home Theaters
15 impressive home theaters where you can truly escape from the real world
via Plime

02 August 2010

Linkage, Volume 118

Visual Economics: BP
What BP Could Have Bought With All the Money They Lost
via Plime

Captured: America in Color from 1939-1943
stunning color photographs of rural and city life, most reproduced from slides
via Neatorama

Google Cheat Sheet
handy list of Google's most popular search tools
via swissmiss

23 July 2010

Linkage, Volume 117

Fantasy Doctor Visit
"What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system."
via Miss Cellania

Russian Barre
unbelievable acrobatics "recorded for Chinese television at the Circus Festival of Monte Carlo."
via Miss Cellania

Retro Recipe
they're trying them at home so you don't have to.
I don't remember where I found this site, but I think I read this unfortunate recipe first.

22 July 2010

Linkage, Volume 116

No Pulse
Dick Cheney has a new device that pumps his blood continuously, leaving him without a heartbeat
via Plime

Chronicles of George
this one is for my fellow nerds - files from the worst help desk employee ever
Jump to Page 1
via Plime

The Plural of Octopus (video link)
as it turns out, there are three correct answers
via Neatorama

Face for Chrissy (video link)
artificial face has been made for a woman, 11 years after a terrible accident
via Neatorama

12 July 2010

Linkage, Volume 115

The CSI Effect
comparing real forensic science with how it is shown on TV
via The Presurfer

Funny Graphs
BuzzFeed selected 30 of their favorite funny graphs from Graph Jam
via Miss Cellania

Zucchini Corn Fritters
This is one of my favorite summer recipes. I made several batches of these fritters last year, with great success. I like to eat them with sour cream. Last week, I made my first batch for this year. Next time, I think I'll spice them up with some cayenne, lime juice, and cumin. Yum!
via Serious Eats

04 July 2010

02 July 2010

Linkage, Volume 114

Easter Eggs
hidden gems in the movie "Toy Story 3"
click on the source links for more complete listings!
via Plime

Geek Wedding
9 Geeky Wedding Invitations That Will Make You ROFL
via Neatogeek

I'm Remembering
nostalgia from my childhood, like Alf, Slimer, Popples, Jem, McNugget Buddies, Muppet Babies, and much much more!
via Neatorama

01 July 2010

Afternoon Adventures

Hang on for my stream-of-consciousness story...

I went to the American Red Cross this afternoon to donate blood. Little did I know that I was being assigned to The Stabinator. She was very difficult to understand. I guessed Eastern European. She took my history and vitals (fyi, the finger-prick hurts way worse than the actual donation!), then got me a juice to sip on during donation.

The Stabinator tried and tried but couldn't find a vein on my left arm (nor has anyone else...) so she switched to the right. I squeezed the squeezy ball for*ever* while she rubbed and tapped and rubbed and tapped. Finally found the vein. Marked, iodined, de-iodined.

Stuck.
Re-stuck.
Poked around.
And around.
Kept doing this until she noticed the pained grimace on my face. "One more try, then I get help." Last try really hurt! She finally called for help. By this point, everyone else in the room had noticed my grimace and were all ready to jump in and help. Steve, now known as My Hero, came over and gently got it in on the first try.

Gush!

Elka was amazed at how quickly the blood was coming out of my tiny veins. "You are skinny. This is why you have tiny veins. You were born same year as my oldest. She has tiny veins also. Middle one, my son, married girl from home country. Youngest daughter turning 17. Thinks she is so big! You are all done - have good circulation! So fast! 4:51" Finished up as usual.

Snack.
Work slip.
My job gives 4 hours off for blood donation, to rest and recuperate.

Went to Kroger after donation to get a few things. Got a call from Mom, asking if I was going to be near a Kohl's, because Cookie needed goggles. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I was very near Kohl's.

Went to Kohl's, but they didn't have them. So I went to Dick's Sporting Goods. They had the goggles, but not a good price. But she was also looking for a black Speedo swimsuit and brightly-colored swim cap. Got those.

Mom jokingly asked if I could just run them down to my hometown before tonight's swim meet. Sure! No problem. But seriously, I was very near my Uncle's office and he might be able to deliver them since he commutes. I took the bag over and met him at his truck. We talked in the parking lot for quite a while.

Standing out in the sun for so long, I started feeling light-headed, so I asked for some water. Uncle took me and my water bottle in to the water fountain.
Drank water.
Saw stars.
Sat down.

Uncle offered to get me some candy. Yes, please.
Head got foggy.
Ears sounded muffled.
Still saw light.
Drank more water.

Uncle came back with two kinds of candy. Ate a Snickers Bar and felt very much better. Than-you, Uncle!
Went home.

So the moral of my story is that when you're given time off to rest and recuperate, go home and do that!

30 June 2010

Linkage, Volume 113

Crazy Hair
play with this guy's hair
via Miss Cellania

David After Dentist
family of delirious kid rolls in $150,000 from YouTube ads and licensing
via Business Insider

Cows for America
story of a Kenyan tribe's reaction to 9/11 and how America is blessing them by their own gift
via Miss Cellania

09 June 2010

Linkage, Volume 111

Father's Coffin
a father requested that his children build his coffin when he died
via Miss Cellania

Tiny Art Director
A Toddler and Her Vision
the blog has become a book
via NeatoBambino

The Tourist Lane
the latest antics of street artists in New York City
via Improv Everywhere

04 June 2010

Linkage, Volume 110

Bad Sports
soccer league imposes rule that penalizes players for playing well
via Plime

Toy Origins
"Hasbro reasoned that if girls loved to play with a female doll, then boys would love to play with a guy doll."
via Neatorama

I Can Tell.
You Dig My Hair, Don't Cha...
via Babies Making Faces

02 June 2010

Linkage, Volume 109

Gun Safety
it is ok to ask your child's friend's parents if they have guns in the house and how they are secured
via NeatoBambino

Forrest Goes to Heaven
and has to take an entrance examination
via Miss Cellania

Myth: Busted
unaired Mythbusters experiment explained by Adam Savage
via Miss Cellania

27 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 108

Crayon Sculptures
tiny totems carved from crayons
via Flexible Dreams

New Skills
Top 40 Usefull Sites To Learn New Skills
via The Presurfer

Harmful Drinks
comparing popular beverages to their sugar or carb equivalent in food
via not martha

25 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 107

Pedal Power
The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Copenhagen gives guests free meal vouchers for pedaling an electricity-generating bicycle for about 15 minutes
via The Presurfer

Mark Twain
"...left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now"
via Plime

Pine(s) Mall
subtlety in Back to the Future
share by reddit user texacer

19 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 106

"I Watch NCIS"
8-year-old boy fought off a man who tried to abduct his 4-year-old sister
via Plime

SSN Billboard
LifeLock CEO's Identity Stolen 13 Times
via The J-Walk Blog

1,000 American Deaths in Afghanistan
"Having taken nearly seven years to reach the first 500 dead, the war killed the second 500 in fewer than two."
via The J-Walk Blog

17 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 105

Alot
The Alot Is Better Than You At Everything
via Hyperbole and a Half

Costly Arrogance
inventor sued Home Depot for $25M for stealing his $4M invention
via One Foot Tsunami

Uncle Joe's Tot Locker
from the website that brought you the article on avoiding Mom Jeans
via Grasping for Objectivity

13 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 104

Siphon
99-year-old mistake in the Oxford English Dictionary
via Plime

How to Survive in China As a Foreigner
"Bring your own deodorant. Bring your own coffee. Get used to the smell of urine. Smile, a lot."
via Plime

Making It Real
Making It Real With Actions
two posts by another Amy who taught her children about homelessness, and then involved them in taking real actions to help others less fortunate
via Flexible Dreams

10 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 103

Mom Jeans
an illustrated guide to picking the right jeans and avoiding the dreaded "long butt"
via Miss Cellania

Baby Bangs
toupees for your bald baby girl
via NeatoBambino

Fake Science
for when the facts are too confusing
via Neatorama

03 May 2010

Linkage, Volume 102

Young Explorer
baby's first cubicle computer workstation
only $2600 (plus $95 for oversize shipping)
via Plime

Calvin and Hobbes
complete searchable archive of the comic strip
via The J-Walk Blog

Dorm Essentials
"15 Dorm Room Essentials You Didn't Know You Needed"
via The Presurfer

28 April 2010

Linkage, Volume 101

Lawn Ornament Fight
buck attempted to defend his territory against a 640-pound concrete statue, and lost
via One Foot Tsunami

Fake Sinking Yacht
boat built to look like it is sinking
via The J-Walk Blog

Brent Jones Doesn't Exist (printer-friendly link)
lack of legal documentation left an 18-year-old without any hope for his future, until a newspaper writer got involved
via Miss Cellania

27 April 2010

First Time Flyer

A friend of mine recently traveled for the first time by airplane. She contacted me to ask whether I had any tips. My response: Why, yes, I do! Settle in and get comfortable, because this is long...

1. Dress Comfortably. Jeans turn into a straitjacket for your legs after a couple of hours in the air. Also wear comfortable shoes, since you will be walking a lot, that slip off and back on easily, for security. I also like to wear shoes with socks so I don't have to go completely barefoot through the security checkpoint. You don't know whether the plane will be warm or cool, so dress in layers, like short sleeves with a light sweater. Consider taking a pashmina (wide scarf) - it can be wrapped around your shoulders, laid across your lap like a blanket, or rolled up for a pillow. [On a personal note, ladies, you may have heard that an underwire bra will trip the metal detectors, but I have never ever seen or had that happen.]

2. Food and water. Bring a snack or two in your carry-on bag, something that won't get squished and isn't smelly. Buying water or other beverage in the airport is expensive, but I need water. I like to pack an empty bottle (Nalgene, Sigg, etc.) that I can fill in the water fountain after I pass through security, along with an assortment of water flavor packets (like Lipton or Crystal Light).

3. Know the 3-1-1 Rule. Liquids/gels in your carry-on luggage must be 3.4 oz (100ml) or less. All those little containers must be in a 1 quart-sized ziploc bag. 1 of those bags per passenger. (This rule limits the total liquid volume you can have in your carry-on. Larger volumes may be in your checked luggage.) Place this baggie in a screening bin.

Exception: liquid medications are not included in the restriction but must be separated and declared at the security checkpoint (placed in a screening bin). [Side note: I keep medicine (pills, not liquid) in a day-of-the-week divided container in my purse. Technically, you should have all medication in original containers when flying, but I only worry about that when traveling out of the country.]

4. Entertainment. Bring something to read (book, magazine) and something to listen to (mp3 player and headphones). Bring earplugs and an eye mask if it is going to be a long flight. I bring sunglasses in my carry-on as well - useful for eye shades on the plane and keeps them handy for when I get to my destination.

Many people like to watch a movie on a DVD player or laptop, especially if the flight is long or you have children with you. Make sure the battery is charged! To make a laptop battery last longer, dim the screen as low as you can stand it, turn off the wi-fi signal, and don't plug anything into it. You may also want a handheld game system (Game Boy, Nintendo DS, etc.). Be advised that electronic devices can only be used when the flight is at cruising altitude, not during takeoff or landing.

5. Miscellaneous. Gum or hard candy (for equalizing your ear pressure during takeoff and landing). Hand lotion, lip balm, eye drops, and possibly nasal saline spray (all because airplane air is very dry - don't forget to add these to your 3-1-1 baggie).

6. Luggage. You can carry-on one bag (anything from a backpack to a small pilot-size rolling suitcase) and one personal item (like a purse, briefcase, or tote bag). Your jacket or coat, umbrella, and newspaper don't have to go into your carry-on. Do not pack weapons of any kind in your carry-on (nail files and clippers are ok, but blades of any kind are not; tiny sewing scissors with blunt tips, sewing needles, knitting needles, and crochet hooks are all ok).

Even though most airlines now charge for checking luggage, it is worth it to not have to schlep everything through the airports. See individual carrier websites for specific luggage restrictions. [Alternative: ship your checked items to your hotel by UPS one week in advance for about the same price as airline checked luggage.]

Have an identification tag on the outside *and* the inside of your luggage. Especially If you have a black suitcase, do something to identify it at a glance - tie a colorful ribbon on the handle, for example. *Always* check the luggage tag when you claim it.

7. Security. Check in your suitcase when you check in for the flight and get your ticket (have your photo ID out and ready to show the ticket agent). Proceed to the security checkpoint. TSA will check your boarding pass and photo ID, then put your ID away.

Take off your shoes and your jacket or coat. Place them in a bin on the x-ray belt. Take your laptop, DVD player, and/or handheld game system out of your bag and place them on the belt. They may remain in a protective sleeve as long as there is nothing else in the case with it. Take your 3-1-1 baggie out of your bag and place it in a bin, along with your purse. Also in the bin: keys, coins, belt if it has a large buckle, and your cell phone. Keep your boarding pass in your hand. After you go through the metal detector, and all of your stuff has gone through the x-ray machine, collect your belongings and step forward out of the way to get re-dressed and re-packed.

8. What to Pack. You will need enough tops for each day plus one (so if you will be traveling for 5 days, pack 6 tops, just in case). You will need half the number of bottoms (plan to wear each pair of pants or skirt twice). If you will be traveling more than a week, consider doing laundry in order to minimize packing. Lay out your outfits before putting them into your suitcase - lay out each bottom with its two tops and enough underwear and socks for each day.

If you plan to work out, pack a gym outfit and shoes. If you plan to swim, bring a suit, coverup, and flip-flops (check to see if your destination provides swim towels). Think about double-duty items - your gym outfit can also be your swim coverup; your tee from the first day can also be your pajama top so you just need to pack pj bottoms).

9. Packing methods. Some swear by the rolling method - roll each item or bundle of small items and place them side-by-side in the suitcase.

I place all my toiletries (liquids in large ziploc bags in case of leakage), shoes (stuffed with socks to keep their shape), underwear (in a "dry bag" compression sack, found with camping supplies), and any other items in a layer in the bottom of the suitcase. I roll and stuff pajamas and tees/tanks/camisoles in empty spaces to make sure everything is snug. Then I stack all of my clothes together, with most wrinkle-prone on the bottom and most wrinkle-resistant on top, and fold them once together. I place this folded stack on the top of the suitcase and zip shut.

10. Timing. Get to the airport one hour before your flight; more if you intend to eat there before the flight. Boarding starts about 30 minutes before the flight, and the boarding door will close about 15 minutes before flight time. Go to the restroom before boarding, because the airplane lavatory is tiny and often icky.

I end with a request, on behalf of tall people and their knees: just because you *can* lean your set back does not mean that you *have* to recline it all the way. Take note of the person sitting behind you. A simple, "Do you mind if I lean back a bit?" goes a very long way.


Inspiration posts:
Pack It Up, by Lyida's Next Step
How to Make Sure Flying Doesn't Suck Out Your Soul, by Nothing but Bonfires

26 April 2010

Cafe Lou Lou

Cafe Lou Lou is a hidden gem in the Louisville Highlands, tucked inside The Loop Mall on Dundee Road, just off Bardstown Road. There is a large parking lot nearby, which is unusual for the area. We had a reservation and were seated quickly.

We started with water all around, and JD ordered the Founders Porter: "The nose is sweet with strong chocolate and caramel malt presence. No absence of hops gives Founders robust porter the full flavor you deserve and expect. Cozy like velvet. It's a lover, not a fighter." I took a sip and was surprised how thick and smooth the texture was. It had a really strong, bitter flavor. I think it would be good in an ice cream float. JD commented, "It's like drinking baker's chocolate. Try it again - it gets better as your taste buds get acclimated."

We ordered the "Spinach and Tomato Crispy Lavash - Flat bread topped with fresh tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and finished with smoked salt." This appetizer was like a pizza, built on cracker-thin crispy flat bread, even flatter than a tortilla. The tomatoes and spinach were delicious and fresh, and the cheeses were melted perfectly. It would make a good light entree for one person, paired with a soup or salad for a complete meal.

We also tried their soup of the day, a summer squash and corn chowder. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either. As a chowder, I assumed it would be thick and creamy, but it was only a little thicker than a broth soup. It was expectedly sweet but was overwhelmed by nutmeg and pepper.

JD ordered a second beer with his meal, BBC Nut Brown Ale: "BBC Nut Brown Ale has a diverse grain bill which lends this traditional English ale a variety of flavors that coalesce into a remarkably smooth and pleasant drink. Additions of various pale, caramel and dark malts create a smooth, sweet malt profile with hints of roasted nuttiness. Multiple additions of English hops round out the flavors and give this classic beer a true flavor of the Old World." This one was not as strong as the Founders Porter, but it was still a full-flavored ale. I could really taste the caramel notes.

I had Ommegang Witte Ale with my meal: "Traditional Belgian-style wheat ale with whispers of sweet orange and a touch of tart lemon." This pale ale had a refreshing, light flavor that I enjoyed. JD remarked that it tasted like a wine cooler and that he liked his two dark brews better.

For our entrees, we had two pastas and a salad. Many of Cafe Lou Lou's entrees can be ordered as a small or large portion. I am always glad to see this, since a full portion is often way too much food, especially after appetizers!

"Pasta Jambalaya - Rotini with chicken, smoked sausage, crawfish, and shrimp and a sauce of tomatoes and chicken stock." Oh, man, this was so good. It was not too soupy or saucy, but the flavor was extraordinary. Just the right mix of meats and seafood and pasta.

"Pasta Bolognese - Penne pasta with ground veal, prosciutto, Italian sausage, mushrooms and tomato cream sauce." This pasta was plated and topped with a good helping of mozzarella cheese, then baked until the cheese melted. There was a good amount of ground veal, but I only encountered one piece of sausage.

"Greek Salad - Romaine lettuce, Roma tomatoes, red onions, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, green peppers, with sundried tomato vinaigrette." All of the ingredients in this salad were very fresh and flavorful.

Cafe Lou Lou: Highly Recommended
The Loop Mall
2216 Dundee Road
Louisville, Ky 40205
502-459-9566

The Overlook Restaurant

Nearly an hour outside of Louisville, near a quaint historic inn, lies a restaurant, precariously perched on a bluff. The Overlook Restaurant is situated on the outside of "horseshoe bend" on the Ohio River.

They don't take reservations, but with 225 seats (in a town of only 300!), we didn't need one. We were seated at a table in the corner between two picture windows, so that we could easily enjoy the gorgeousviews in both directions. Our waitress commented that it was one of the best tables in the house as she placed a card on our table with her name on it.

After we placed our drink orders, we were brought a basket of warm homemade yeast rolls and soft butter. The iced tea was strong and dark, not watery and thin like it is in many restaurants.

I ordered "Beef Manhattan - Slow roasted beef sandwich between two slices of white bread. Served with mashed potatoes topped with our rich brown gravy." This is one of my ultimate comfort food dishes, and I ate every single bite. I had steamed broccoli for my side.

My dining companions ordered:
Filet Mignon with salad, baked potato, steamed broccoli. The Overlook had just added Filet Mignon to their menu, in addition to Ribeye and Sirloin. The steak was cooked to perfection. Excellent medium, tender, and juicy.

"Twenty Mile Hot Brown - That's how far some have told us they would walk for this treat. White toast topped with oven-roasted turkey breast, our homemade mornay sauce, cheddar cheese, bacon and sliced tomato." This was Little Sister's choice. She almost always orders a Hot Brown whenever she can find one on a menu. She ordered mashed potatoes and gravy for her side dish. She said the potatoes didn't taste very good, but I think it just didn't taste as good as the hot brown. When she had *almost* eaten it all, she pushed away the plate and declared that she wanted to save some room for dessert.

After we ate, we had to somehow find room for dessert. The Overlook had a long list of homemade desserts, so we ordered a variety: warm Black Berry Cobbler with vanilla ice cream, tart Cherry Pie, Amaretto Cheesecake, and fluffy Coconut Cake.

After we finished, we strolled down to the huge deck, which offers additional seating and will soon feature beers and pizza at Walter's Pub.

The Overlook Restaurant: Highly Recommended.
1153 West State Road 62
Leavenworth, IN 47137
(812) 739-4264

23 April 2010

Linkage, Volume 100

Yay me! One hundred exciting linking adventures!

Your Friend didn't get Mugged in London
beware this and other types of email scams
via Cockeyed

Early Graduation
high school senior who had been fighting bone cancer was given the opportunity to graduate a month early, one week before he died
via Neatorama

The Computer Teardown
how computer guts are like people guts
via Parent Hacks

20 April 2010

Linkage, Volume 99

The Richest Family
whether it is a true story or fiction, this a sweet tale and a reminder of what it means to be truly rich
via Flexible Dreams

All I Really Needed to Know
good life lessons from Pre-K
via Flexible Dreams

Gimme Five
stories behind five popular hand gestures
via Miss Cellania

Instants!
collection of instant sound effects
via Plime

09 April 2010

Linkage, Volume 98

FarmVille Bill
12-year-old spent more than £900 on FarmVille, first emptying out his £288 savings account, then using his mother's credit card
via Neatorama

Not Free
FreeCreditReport.com Just Got Even Less Free
via Plime

World's Saddest Cookbook
seems like a lot of food for one person
via Neatoramanauts

26 March 2010

Linkage, Volume 97

Radio Hat
1949 ad for a portable vacuum tube radio hat. Choice of eight colors!
via The J-Walk Blog

Young Me / Now Me
photo project by Ze Frank
via The J-Walk Blog and Neatorama

Space Photos
man sent a digital camera into space by balloon, and the pictures were so stunning that NASA was impressed.
via Plime

19 March 2010

Linkage, Volume 96

WASPs
Women Airforce Service Pilots are finally getting the recognition they deserve, 65 years after their service
via Neatorama

Not All Princesses
an open letter to Pixar requesting a movie with a non-princess female lead character
via Flexible Dreams

It's in English
thank-you, I'll have the "Big bowl fresh immerse miscellaneous germ" with "Chicken ear an ear jade liquid geng" on the side and "Steamed Forest Frog Plaster W/Double-boiled" for dessert.
via Miss Cellania

The Scale of the Universe
"from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime" via The J-Walk Blog

Top-Level Domain
Canon intends to be the first company to buy their own TLD, in late 2011
via The J-Walk Blog

17 March 2010

Follow Me

I used to have a toy computer, back before toy computers were popular. It had a selection of simple games and a monochromatic screen. My favorite game was "Follow Me." The computer would play a note and say "Follow Me", its instructions for you to play the note, too. Then it would play two notes and say "Follow Me," and you would play the two notes. The computer would repeat this, adding another note each time, until eventually you messed up and forgot the sequence. The challenge was to see how many notes you could follow.

Become a follower of my blog, please. I know there are only like five people who read my blog, but you can all become followers! There is a quick and easy link for this in the right column, just under my contact e-mail address. Another crazy Amy is already following me. She pointed out on her blog, Flexible Dreams, that there are good reasons to have lots of followers - like being eligible to review products and such. Thanks, Amy! Thanks, everyone!

15 March 2010

Linkage, Volume 95

20 Unholy Recipes
"Dishes So Awful We Had to Make Them"
via Neatorama

Secret Society for Creative Philanthropy
Offering $100 to do nice things for others. Apparently it's harder than you think to give away free umbrellas in a rainstorm.
via Neatorama

Comparing Labels
regular vs. "healthy" tomato soup - same recipe, different prices
via J-Walk Blog

08 February 2010

Linkage, Volume 94

Boy Scouts of America
celebrating their 100th birthday today
via Neatorama

Freely Educate
sharing free educational resources for parents and kids
via Rocks In My Dryer

Serving Sizes
the FDA may change nutritional labeling to reflect realistic portion sizes
via Serious Eats

Stagecoach Mary
broke the barriers of race and gender in the 1800s
via Plime

05 February 2010

Linkage, Volume 93

J4NE the Pink Robot
robot alphabet, voiced by the webmaster's 2-year-old.
For example, "H: Robots sometimes get HICCUPS"
via Ohdeedoh

GoogleGoogleGoogleGoogle
for those who need to google a lot
via Flexible Dreams

Everyday Loopholes
my favorite so far is Ctrl+Refresh to update my blogroll. Site has not been updated in nearly 2 years, but it is still mostly useful information.
via Plime

03 February 2010

Linkage, Volume 92

11 Minutes of Action
the average televised football game takes about 3 hours, but the ball is only in play for about 11 minutes
via J-Walk Blog

The Roman Army Knife:
"Or how the ingenuity of the Swiss was beaten by 1,800 years"
via Plime

Little Ideas
a bag of suggestions to cure "Nothing-to-Do Syndrome"
via Ohdeedoh
I also love commenter carhootel's link to her mom's "Please Cards"

27 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 91

No Kicking Penguins
the request of a 7-year-old became official policy in Antarctica
merchandise proceeds are going to Autism charities
via Neatorama

Texting While Driving
Illinois enacated a law prohibiting texting while driving - but how do they expect to enforce it?
via my friend John

Coach Sinks Impossible Shot
girls basketball coach told he would win NCAA tickets if he made a half-court shot while blindfolded
via Plime

Homeopathy Protest
sceptics plan mass 'overdose' of homeopathic medicine to prove its inefficacy
via Plime

Blanket Battle
Snuggie vs. Slanket vs. Freedom Blanket vs. Blankoat vs. any old backwards robe
via Plime

22 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 90

You Dropped Food on the Floor.
Do You Eat It?
via Swiss-Miss

BookBook
makes me wish I had a MacBook just so I could use one of these
via Swiss-Miss

Internet Access for Astronauts
residents of the International Space Station can now finally browse the web and tweet live from space
via CBS

Cable Knots
Ford advertisement includes handy knot techniques for your earbud cords
via Unplggd

20 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 89

Pants for Parents
concept design for pants with a low pocket for little children to stash their treasures in
via Swiss-Miss

The Girl who Conned the Ivy League
"Esther Reed wanted to be someone. She ended up being several people, until the police
caught up with her."
via Miss Cellania

Alice's Adventures in Algebra
exploring the premise that Victorian-era "new math" was woven into Wonderland
via Plime

Medication Recall
Full Recalled Product List (PDF)
"Your entire medicine chest has been recalled. Well, maybe most of it."
via Plime

14 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 88

Less Awareness - More Action
on the "color" Facebook meme for Breast Cancer Awareness
via Rocks In My Dryer

Cardboard Dollhouse
cute and fun family craft
via Parent Hacks

Random Recipe Generator
don't try these at home
via Serious Eats

Flights From Hell
makes my flights seem heavenly in comparison
via Plime

07 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 87

Geekly Quotes
100 Quotes Every Geek Should Know
via The J-Walk Blog

Science Cookies
"...Popularizing science through baking is a very good thing...."
via The J-Walk Blog

04 January 2010

Linkage, Volume 86

A Pictoral Guide to Avoiding Camera Loss
a sequence of photos to keep on your camera in case it gets lost
via Neatorama

Infographic of the Decade
Phillip Nieimeyer's impression of the last ten years
via Neatorama

B Movie Classics
web streaming of classic B movies from AMC
via Plime

02 January 2010

Spare Room Project

More inspiration for my guest bedroom / home office redecorating project...
Johan utilizes wall space up high to store his DVD collection in hacked IKEA shelving.
Sean repurposed vinyl rain gutters to manage his desk cables.

I got a few items for Christmas that will make great additions to my new office:
Belkin Concealed Surge Protector