Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fixing the New NewsFeed Feature in Facebook

I'm sure they meant well.
But it's really annoying.

I found this link on Chris McGinn's FB page. It is courtesy Michael Monahan, who is not my FB friend, but is for sure a regular one! Thanks Michael! Michael was frustrated because he couldn't see all his Mafia Wars family updates. He's not my friend on FB, so I sent him a message when I couldn't make his first fix work.

Here is what he wrote:

First, if you're looking for the video tutorials for fixing the News Feed in Facebook, they are now on YouTube. There are two you absolutely need to see to undo the new changes that lets Facebook decide who you see in your news feed. Here are the video links:

This is the updated original video.

This is the additional video. You need to do this to manually make sure that all of your mafia/friends are showing up in your feed. Even after doing all of the steps in the first video, Facebook was still not showing all of my friends, including a member of my top mafia!

If you've seen the video, and you're still having trouble, please check the following:

If you have NO edit link at the bottom, you have to HIDE one post! Pick something other than mafia wars, hover your mouse to the right and select hide. Now go back to the bottom, and see if you have the edit link.

If after following all the steps, you have the edit button, but it isn't showing the "edit news feed" box, but an edit box that simply allows you to hide or unhide friends or applications, the fix is to go to the top of the home page. Click on NEWS FEED. As soon as that finishes loading, click back on LIVE FEED. Now go to the bottom and click edit.

Make sure that after you clear cookies, you LOG OUT of facebook! Log back in then follow the rest of the steps in the video.

For help with other browsers, follow these links to clear your cookies, then follow the other steps in the first video.

For Safari go here:

For Google Chrome: go here

For Opera go here:

For IE 8 go here:

For IE 7 go here:

For IE 6 go here:


Monday, October 19, 2009

Shroom? Condos?

Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
A friend refers to this as a photo of mushroom condos. They do look a little like some sort of multi-family housing, don't they? Aw. Sure they do. Use your imagination, for pete's sake!

It's finally cooling down here in the Carolinas. We are wearing SHOES. And SOCKS. And even the occasional JACKET. Yup. Of course, that doesn't mean we might not have an 80 degree day on Halloween, but things are definitely seeming rather fall-like here.

Mensa Boy is busy trying to put new rubber coating on the dishwasher rack. We had noticed brownish spots appearing on some of our dishes...the edges. Finally he decided to get to the root of the problem and discovered that the coating has started to come off in spots and the bare wires are rusting. New rack: $75. Bottle of rubber coating: $6. Keeping Mensa Boy busy and happy ("I'm sure having fun doing it!" he crowed.): PRICELESS.

Next project? Finding a way to replace the passenger rearview mirror on Big Green. I sideswiped a garbage cart last week. Photo to follow.

Time to retreat upstairs. Turns out that bottle of rubber coating stuff has a bit of an intoxicating aroma.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Operation Foot Rehab

Operation Foot Rehab is underway and I think I'm making progress.

This summer I sustained a stress fracture of the third metatarsal of the left foot. The ensuing treatment, which involved a special shoe, caused the plantar fasciitis to flare up to epic proportions. It was bad enough that my friend Terri actually dubbed the foot the "Foot of Doom." It caused real psychological problems for me, as it not only hindered by jazzercise, but also my yoga practice, and intermittently caused me to double over in pain as the heel would seize up suddenly and go into spasms.

Now, due to the miracle of prescription drugs and Birkenstock and Earth Shoes, I think I am working my way to normalcy.

But I am also working on my stance. I tend to pronate, which contributes to the arches falling. So I have put on a stretchy bracelet I bought from the Dorcus Widows Fund and I use that to remind myself to keep standing so that my weight is evenly distributing among all three points of each foot. I'm also working on making sure my feet are parallel and pointing forward. The bracelet reminds me to check. I'm starting to notice I'm doing those things more automatically now.

The prescription anti-inflammatory runs out in about a week. We'll see how the pain is then.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Squash Soup

A squash recipe I plan to try. I like roasting it but it's time to branch out!

Savory Squash Soup


Sunday, October 11, 2009


Originally uploaded by Food Fanatic
I went stomping around in the woods today with Yogi Liz and her young son Jared. We had a great time! And didn't really get lost. Not much. Just once for a few minutes but we found the trail. Jared is a real trouper. We were out there a couple of hours and he never flagged. I took my camera with me--the first time in many months that I've taken photos. It felt good to have it out looking for things to shoot. Jared did some shooting too. That kid can really see stuff. And Light! He shot a photo of me in a log and mentioned that he thought it would be good shot but "a little dark by your eyes." He was right! I can't tell you how many times I've failed to notice how the light is playing on someone's face, only to discover it when I got home and loaded it up.

We walked around on an 85-acre patch of property that is currently being held in trust by some bank or something. One of the creeks... maybe six-mile?... runs through it, although it is pretty dry right now. And there are woods and meadows. Four-wheelers have been running around in there and we found some paths that had been mowed and/or bush-hogged through there. We speculated that perhaps the paths were cleared so that potential buyers could get around to see the property. It doesn't matter. We enjoyed the paths, both man-made and deer-made, and had a great time.

I came home and did a nice yoga practice that involved backbends and inversions. For the second day in a row I was able to do a headstand in the middle of the room and stay there for a little more than a minute. I'm pleased about that. I'll try to do one each day for a while I think. Yesterday in class we did a twisted head-to-knee pose (Janu Sirsasana) and I think I'll also try to do those for a while. It did great things for my side ribs.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Call a Spade a Spade, Why Don't Ya?

I hate props. In anything. Especially in yoga. I like to have my hands empty in life and on the mat. Heck, I don't even like to carry purses! Will I ever be a backpacker? Probably not. That would involve carrying my house on my back. The word "carry" is just not part of my vocabulary. I like to roam through life with my hands swinging free and unencumbered.

I'm only willing to use a strap in yoga because the one I have is cool and soft and just the right length and feels good on my bare feet. It's silk. And yeah, it's helpful at times. But I still only use it when I have to.

So today we were doing extended hand-to-toe pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustasana). Here's a photo. We were using straps to hold our feet up. I did fine standing on the left foot, which is weird because that's the foot that's been bothering me. But I simply could not find my balance on the right foot.

"You could move to a wall," YL said.

"Yes, but you know I'm too stubborn," I said.

"You could let your ego go," she said. (or something to that effect)

Argh. She's right. I do have an ego thing in yoga. I am more flexible and also have quite a bit of strength. When I am unable to do some pose, I'm not likely to admit it.

"You know I hate props," I said.

"Well, girlfriend," she said. "You might as well lose the strap then too!"

yeah yeah yeah. She's right.



Monday, October 05, 2009

Cold Busters

Everyone has their own way of coping with colds. Copious amounts of orange juice, hot tea, water, chicken soup, over-the-counter-medications, sleep, etc.

I get bored. At least my taste buds do. I get tired of having my mouth taste like the bottom of a birdcage for days. Orange juice and birdcage taste don't really work for me as a winning combination. I like hot tea but there's the whole caffeine thing. And of course I put sugar in there. So between the sugar of the orange juice and the sugar AND caffeine in the tea, I end up feeling kind of worse. Chicken soup is good, but can be a bit dull on the tastebuds too.

I pretty much don't use any otc meds for colds unless I absolutely can't sleep at night. I've always ascribed to the theory that letting the cold run its' course is better than beating back some of the symptoms only to have them rage back worse than before. Sinus stuff is notorious for that.

I stopped using sinus stuff a couple of years ago when we got hooked on neti pots. We each have our own (mine is a special ceramic...theirs are plain white boring ones). Here is a link on WebMD about them. My Dad has used salt water to clear his sinuses for as long as I can remember. But he puts table salt in his palm, adds water, and sniffs it up. That's waaaay more painful. I like to use sea salt in my neti pot. For some reason it seems to be milder on my nasal passages. Mensa Boy adds a little baking soda to his with the salt. But I think he still uses table salt. I use the neti pot whenever I'm stuffed up or if my nose is running and I feel like I'm sniffing a lot. I could be wrong, but I feel like I'd rather rinse that junk OUT than sniff it IN. So when I start sniffing, I do another rinse.

This time I've also taken to using a sinus rejuvenation oil that came with my pot. It was there in the box and I just never seemed to think I needed it before. Last night as I got ready for bed I decided to give it a try. BETTER THAN VICKS! The oil contains green myrtle, inula graveolens, rosemary verbenone, eucalyptus dives, peppermint, spike lavender. I don't know what the second stuff is, but I don't care. You just tip the bottle on your fingertip and then touch just inside each nostril with your finger. You get a menthol-type of feeling down your nasal passages at first. I was able to get to sleep quite well with my nose clear and unclogged. Drug free, too. The bottle says you can do it 3-4 times a day so I've done it each time I've used the neti pot today. The oil is by a company called Baraka, which is the company that made my neti pot.

I've also switched up the tea drinking. Instead of just black tea, I've been drinking some Yogi tea that Yogi Liz gave me yesterday. She gave me two teabags each of the Cold Season and Throat Comfort teas. The Throat Comfort tea is very nice, but I wouldn't say that there is anything that sets it apart from the Twinings herbal teas, which are less expensive. But the Cold Season that's a different story. The blend of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and clove really give the tea a heat that helps with the bronchial and nasal discomfort. I liked that. But dang, that stuff is expensive. I seem to remember that it's about $7 a box! Another tea I like, that Yogi Liz also hooked me on, is Stash's chai green tea. This tea also has that winning combination of cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger, along with some other goodies.

So all this got me to thinking that it might be time to try the Yogi Tea recipe in the back of a Kundalini yoga book I've been reading. Here is the recipe:
  • 2 quarts water
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 20 black peppercorns
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 20 whole cardamon pods (split the pods first)
  • 8 fresh ginger slices (1/4" thick, no need to peel)
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular or decaf black tea leaves (approximately 1 tea bag)
  • Dairy or soy milk and honey or maple syrup to taste


Bring two quarts of water to a boil. Add cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and ginger. Bring to a boil, then pull back the heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, add black tea, and let cool. Strain and store in the refrigerator. Reheat when you want a cup and add milk and honey to taste.

This is great stuff! Whole cardamom can be hard to find. I buy mine from Penzey's online (because we don't have a store), but I'm thinking you could probably locate it in Indian or Asian grocery stores. Also, Yogi Liz suggests keeping the spices that you strain out. She makes another smaller batch with that as a way to stretch the bucks. I've put all but the ginger slices into an old Penzey's spice jar in the fridge.

So that's what I'm sipping as I write this. I think the black pepper really kicks this up to a whole new level of immunity-boosting. I don't add milk. I may try that. But I'll add it one cup at a time.

So. The soup. The chicken soup I've always made when someone has a cold has always been just run-of-the-mill. Simmer a bird, add onions, celery, carrots, bay, salt, pepper. Then add noodles or rice. blah blah blah. If your mouth already is bored, this soup, while good, is not really going to wake it up.

So I went back to the ginger. Mensa Boy hadn't gotten home with the ginger root for the tea yet, so I pulled out the minced, jarred ginger I have in the fridge. I whisked in a good heaping teaspoon-worth. Then I crushed up three big cloves of garlic and tossed in a pretty good-sized helping of red pepper flakes. I could actually TASTE this soup. This time we just poured it over basmati rice in our bowls. I didn't bother with the carrots and celery. I didn't hear any complaining!

So that's what I did today. Oh, and the sleeping. Lots of sleeping. And the cookies. Did I not mention the cookies? I end up munching on cookies periodically through the day when I have a cold. Birdcage-mouth, you know.

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