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Posts posted by Cosmos

  1. 15 minutes ago, Calm37 said:

    Those of you that are weighing your ingredients, what are you using for that? I would like to do it, but I'm unsure what to buy.

    A kitchen scale. Not this one, but it looks similar.


    You want something with a tare function and (probably) the ability to change units.

    Here's how to use it -- Put your mixing bowl on the scale and hit the tare button, so it reads zero. Then if you are supposed to add 400 g of water, pour water in until it says 400 g. Then hit tare again. Now do the same for your next ingredient. Easy. No need for measuring cups. I do use volume for small quantities like 1 tsp salt, etc. For white sugar I go either way since it's very easy to measure sugar by volume. But brown sugar is much easier by weight. No more wondering it's "packed" or "lightly packed".

    • Like 3
  2. 52 minutes ago, Quill said:

    I have dabbled in the past, then I mostly went gf because of IBS. But I am reading 52 Loaves, a bread-baking funny memoir, and it makes me want to get back to baking some really nice bread. I am intrigued in the book where he talks about weighing ingredients by grams, rather than measuring with measuring cups. That makes infinitely more sense to me than always wondering if my measuring technique is producing accurate results. 

    Any books or other resources for a beginner that is yet not toooooo beginner-ish? Anyone with experience teaching themselves to rock the home-baked bread? 

    King Arthur Flour -- they have a fantastic website full of recipes and in-depth guides on baking. They also have baking experts who will answer your questions by email. Their recipes are great, and you can choose to measure by volume OR weight for every recipe. I measure by weight whenever possible -- it's more accurate and easier once you're used to it.

    • Like 9
  3. I just remembered that I do have one sweatshirt that my dad gave me as a gift. He got it on HIS vacation, so it's from a place I've never been. And dh has a t-shirt from Stanford because they were giving out free shirts at a conference (he works for a different college). So, ironically our only place-name clothing is from places we have no connection to. I use mine for gardening when it's cold out.

    • Like 1
  4. I never buy things like that. It's one of those things that I think I've put in a category of "things other people do that I don't" like going fishing or wearing sunglasses. It just doesn't appeal to me for whatever reason. (Also, I don't really wear t-shirts or sweatshirts, so doesn't really make sense for that reason either.)

    But I have never thought it was *bragging* when other people wear location t-shirts. Never even remotely. I don't think that's a common reaction at all.

    • Like 2
  5. 6 minutes ago, gstharr said:

    In the old days, take a basic hand held telephone unit.  there is a cord connected to the back of the phone, and the other end of the cord would get connected to the telephone wall jack to hook to telephone company system.    Now for ooma, take the other end of that old telephone unit , and plug it into the ooma device to connect to your dsl internet.  in my case, the base unit for the our 5 phone cordless system is plugged into the ooma.   the regular telephone wall jacks collect dust in our set up.  works great. 

    That makes perfect sense. That's how I was expecting the set-up would be. So I was confused by the poster above who said that they still plug their phones into their wall jacks. I'm just curious, that's all.

  6. 12 minutes ago, gstharr said:

    Sorry, I have not looked at the ooma site since I joined 3 years ago. I don't know current promotions.   As to how we did it:  Disconnected all telephone company service.  Had TWC (now Spectrum) bring in a dsl line (dsl only, no phone service).  Got upgraded speed, but not the top dsl package.  Hooked OOMA into TWC dsl.  So, we  pay for TWC dsl + OOMA.  This gives us dsl internet, and ooma voip national telephone service.  Still way cheaper than any  phone/internet  package available in our area.   BTW, true will not work in a power outage, but we have three cell phones on hand. 

    See, this is how behind the times I am. I didn't even know we could get DSL from other companies besides the phone company. That's physically a new line to your house? Wow. I will be investigating options in my area!

  7. 6 minutes ago, retiredHSmom said:

    Basic is free, but you have to pay taxes, which in my area has varied  between $5.11 and $5.40 for the last nine years.  We plug the Ooma telo into our phone jack and the cable modem line and then plug the phones into the phone jacks, so in a sense we are still using the "phone line". We have a cable modem and we get internet only from our cable provider.  They call once a year or so trying to sell me phone or cable TV but I always refuse.

    Ah, taxes. That makes sense.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the technology part of this. The phone conversation is actually traveling in packets through your internet connection, right? It doesn't go through the standard telephone network at all. Well, at my house where we're using DSL, it would because all internet traffic goes through the phone line. But in your case, you are getting cable internet, so internet traffic goes through a completely different piece of wire (the cable connection). So why does the phone need to plug into the phone jack? I understand that it needs to connect to some sort of adapter to change the signal to digital, but then it needs to get onto the internet, not the telephone network.

    Oh, I just had a thought. It's so all the phones in the house can be connected? It doesn't actually connect out to the outer telephone network. It's just using the phone lines in the house to link phones together. Is that right?

  8. 35 minutes ago, gstharr said:

    Pricing on OOMA ranges from free to $20.00 or so per month.  I went with the $5/month option--- no particular reason other than I  did not the bare minimum service.  The only special equipment required is their device that you connect to your modem (must have internet connection)  and then you plug  your regular phone cable into that . 


    I don't see these options on their website. I see "Basic Service" which looks like it's free after paying for the device and "Premier Service" which says it's $9.99 per month. Do you know where you saw the other options?


    This whole concept is so intriguing to me (and kind of bewildering). We have DSL, so if we did something like this, I guess we would be using our phone line to get internet access and then using that internet access to make phone calls. And not using our phone line as a phone line at all. Weird, huh? Actually, I don't know if we can get DSL without also buying a phone service plan so it may be a moot point.

  9. We painted our kitchen in our old house an orangey tone. It was called Warm Cocoon, and it made the kitchen feel so warm and cozy. I loved it! Our current house has lovely maple cabinets that wouldn't go well with that kind of color (we have RED) but I did love our warm, sunshine-y kitchen. Go for it. I think it would look great with the white cabinets and dark window trim. I would paint the soffit the wall color.

    • Like 1
  10. 4 minutes ago, freesia said:

    We have a landline. 

    However, we also have a non-smart phone that is pay as you go (3 months for ten dollars from H2O wireless). It is our kids phone and lives in a drawer in the kitchen.  That could be a low cost option for you, too. 

    Ooh, that's a much better deal than I saw on tracphone. 

  11. 10 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

    Well that’s what I am asking.  Like does this work out well for people or does it end up getting lost a lot?  Is it more expensive than a regular landline? Or is there another option I am not thinking of?

    The home we are moving to already has an actual landline corded phone on the wall in the kitchen. I am just trying to think of all options and what might work best for us. 

    I don't like having no landline and don't plan to ever get rid of ours.

    But a dumb pre-paid phone for emergencies is probably cheaper. Tracphone has phone+text for one year at $100. It keeps going up, though. A couple of years ago we were paying under $50 a year for phone+text. But still, that's cheaper than a landline. FYI, you can use these "dumb phone" plans on smart phone. It's much easier to text on an old iphone than a flip phone.

    • Like 2
  12. Help me, please! I'm listening to it as an audiobook, and I'm confused. I feel like I've missed some crucial details about the premise. With an audiobook I can't just flip back and skim to find what I've missed, but I don't really want to go back and listen to the whole thing over again. I've tried googling for info, but every article I find starts giving away spoilers from later in the book.

    So, I'm hoping someone here has read it and can help me out.

    For those who haven't read it, it's a speculative fiction novel about a second American civil war in the late twenty-first century. https://www.amazon.com/American-War-Omar-El-Akkad/dp/0451493583





    My biggest question is who are the "rebels"? Right now the family is at the refugee camp Patience. They have been there 6 years. I understand that the Free Southern States have seceded from the north and fighting is ongoing. The camp is right on the border and there are northern soldiers and the Free Southern army. But then there is mention of "rebels". Martina warns Simon not to join the rebels but to join the Free Southern army if he must fight. They also mention the rebels skirmishing with northern troops. So I am confused. Who are the rebels and who are they rebelling against?

    This might not be an ideal book to listen to, because I keep getting confused about the timeline too. Weaved into the narrative are excerpts from newspaper and textbook accounts of the war. I'm never quite sure if these are supposed to be depicting events that happened before our narrative, or are happening contemporaneously, or perhaps even foreshadow later events. I think they mention dates, but I don't seem to absorb that very well while listening. Ugh, now I'm starting to think I should start over again so I can get everything straight.

  13. Do you have good knives? It kills me when I have to prep food at other people's houses because often (usually) they have terrible knives. And that makes it take FOREVER. With a high-quality vegetable peeler and sharp, quality knives, I can peel and cube a butternut squash in just a few minutes. I haven't timed myself, but I never think of prepping vegetables as a time-consuming part of cooking, so I don't think it takes too long.

    • Like 6
  14. 1 minute ago, Amira said:

    There are lots of strategies people used in the past to cool their homes.  One really common method in the hottest parts of the Middle East are windcatchers (malqaf in Egyptian Arabic or badgir in Farsi) that funnel air through the house. Also, in super hot places like Saudi Arabia, people usually built in wadis. There are few ancient towns here that are built in exposed areas.  Cities like Riyadh never could have been built to the size they are today without air conditioning. Wadis are noticeably cooler in the summer.  

    I lived in a hot humid climate (close to the equator) for one year as an exchange student. My home, like most, had no air-conditioning at all. I was surprised at how quickly I became used to living with the heat, having come from Houston,Texas, which had similar temperatures but where everything was air-conditioned. Our house was very open to the outside. The dining room was really a covered patio, and the kitchen was a separate building from the rest of the house. It was actually very comfortable.

    I live in New England now, where summer heat is comparatively mild. We have no air conditioning, but we do put fans in the windows on hot nights.

    • Like 1
  15. 1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

    Isn't it awesome? ?  There is so much less trash with a packed lunch.

    I hadn't thought about that but you are right.

    My dh says at his office he is the only person who uses a ceramic coffee mug at the office coffee machine. Everyone else uses paper coffee cups that are thrown away. So much waste! It's hard for me to understand. They work in the same office every single day. Surely it would be easy and much more pleasant and sustainable to use a real mug and wash it at the end of the day.

    • Like 3
    • Sad 1
  16. 47 minutes ago, SeaConquest said:

    I'm actually surprised at the number of people who pack lunches at all. You all are a frugal bunch!

    I guess it's whatever you consider normal. I'm always shocked at the number of people who go out to eat every day for lunch.

    I do pack dh's lunch. We get up at the same time and while he is showering and dressing, I cook something for breakfast and pack a lunch (and feed the cat, start the coffee, etc.) If he did it himself, he would have to get up earlier, so it just makes sense for me to do it. I work too, but my hours are fewer and irregular, so I don't need to pack a lunch for myself. Lunch, whether packed or at home, is almost always leftovers. I also cut up some fresh vegetables and wash some fruit and fill a thermos with coffee. Sometimes I add in some granola & yogurt or cheese & crackers or similar if the leftovers are light.

    • Like 1
  17. I thought our car (Subaru Outback) was a hatchback, but I looked it up and apparently it's a station wagon. Not sure what the difference between a hatchback and a station wagon is, but I love the ability to fold the seats down to fit cargo in the back. We haul brush to the dump, transport furniture or building materials, and have plenty of room for luggage on a long trip.

    Our previous car had just a trunk and we won't do that again unless we had multiple cars. We need at least one vehicle with space for "stuff" and since we are a one-car family, the Outback is great for us.

  18. Just now, regentrude said:

    yes, if you only use the online access, this won't work.

    Thunderbird allows you to create local copies of your emails on your computer. I much prefer to have local copies of all email on all my machines, vs having them stored only online.

    It also like that it allows me to display various email accounts in one place, so i don't have to log on to several different sites.

    Yes, this is exactly what I'm starting to worry about, especially with my ancient hotmail account. I've never really looked into these kind of programs, but you may be right that this is exactly what I need. Does it run in your browser or is it a separate program? My computer is very old and I prefer running just a browser most of the time because if I have open lots of programs, my computer can't handle it.

    Thank you!

  19. 16 minutes ago, regentrude said:

    But you can still import the folders, can't you?

    I don't think I'm familiar with what you are describing. I don't use an email program. I simply access my email accounts in my browser at the website. Once the accounts are gone, all the folders I have will be gone too. I don't have anything to import them into at the moment, but I will research Thunderbird and see if that would be helpful.

  20. 4 minutes ago, regentrude said:

    Folders in your email program? You can organize by person.

    I imported several accounts into Thunderbird and have folders for old email, sorted by person.

    Yes, certainly, for my current email accounts.

    This is for messages in my old email accounts that I want to shut down.

  21. Quill's thread about abandoning email reminded me of this question, but I thought it would be best in a separate thread.

    I've been in the process of cleaning up and consolidating several email accounts. Two of them I am planning to deactivate once I get everything associated with them transferred elsewhere and all my contacts updated. That will take a while still, but I'm starting to wonder how to save the emails I want to save.

    The overwhelming majority are ones I can safely delete. I don't need any record of projects from five years ago or things I bought seven years ago. Any links to articles I was saving can be saved as bookmarks or in other ways. But I do want to save some of the personal emails. These go back more than twenty years and are the equivalent of letters for previous generations. But how to save them? Print them out (ugh!), extract to text files and download to my computer, forward to my active email account? I feel sure someone has already thought of a good system for this. Extracting to text seems best except that it will lose formatting and I don't think they will look like emails anymore. I would like to preserve the look of them, if possible

    One thing I know for sure is that I need to be selective because saving everything is the equivalent of saving nothing. I can't do anything with 10,000 emails. I need the digital equivalent of a packet of precious letters tied with a ribbon and stored in a shoe box. Something that's actually practical to save and enjoy in the future.

  22. 2 hours ago, Ravin said:

    Cosmos, I have been known to stand there and re-bag right in front of them. If you really want to make your displeasure clear, demand they replace the crushed lettuce and basil and tell the manager why.

    I want chocolate.

    Did I kill the thread with my petty complaint? :cool:

    I'm not the type to complain to the manager. I really would just like to do it myself, but it's often quite awkward to do so when there's a bagger standing right there. I've discovered a counter-intuitive trick that helps -- I look for a line that's full rather than empty. That gives me enough time to get all my stuff on the conveyor belt before they start scanning my stuff. That way I can get to the end and start bagging on my own before a bagger comes over (as they would if scanned merchandise starts piling up at the end).

    • Like 1
  23. I just want to bag my own groceries at the grocery store or to meet a bagger who doesn't do things like putting raw meat on top of strawberries. Last time I was at the store, I asked the bagger to put the egg cartons on the bottom of the bag. She said, "Oh no, not at the bottom!" (Have you seen the crates eggs come in? They will not get hurt at the bottom of a little grocery bag!) Then she proceeded to put two cartons of eggs on top a bag with lettuce and fresh basil, instantly crushing them.


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