Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So, I've kind of decided that I really need to go home and have a nap before I hurt someone.

As some of you already know, I was up until the wee hours of the morning today finishing up an assignment, and as a result am operating on 4 hours of sleep and a hell of a lot of caffeine.

Now, I'm not sure if it's the lack of sleep or the abundance of caffeine, but I am irritated by every.little.thing. I'm sure that people aren't really being any more irritating than normal, or louder than normal, or stupider than normal, etc... but I'm sure noticing it a heck of a lot more.

Wow. This post is really not nearly as interesting as it sounded in my head. Definitely nap time.
Well son of a ...

I'm an addict.

I spent an entire class this morning thinking about getting a fix.

And now, I find out that I can't get my fix here at the college, and I am saddened. :(

No, it's not a cigarette that I crave, or caffeine, or any alcohol or drug for that matter.

It's a game. A mind-numbing time-devouring game.

It’s called Hog Heaven Slots. Hours and hours of pig pokin' fun.

It’s available at a web site I have long avoided ( - Go on. Click it. You know you want to. Everyone else is doing it. I promise I won't tell.), until a good friend asked me if I wanted a 5-day guest pass.

Unfortunately, the game runs on a Java applet, which the college’s network bans from “calling home”.

So, I guess I’m back to studying... or blogging... or reading other people’s blogs... or any of the other distractions that I find to avoid actually working on anything important between classes. ;)

Le sigh.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Wugh. A whole week since my last post. School is seriously kicking my butt y'all. Not to mention this cold that doesn't seem to want to leave me alone. Ever.

I threw together some vegetarian enchiladas last night, and they were so good I thought I would share the recipe. I started out looking for someone else's recipe to follow, but nothing I found sounded like quite what I wanted, so I made up my own.

Vegetarian Enchiladas

  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice (you could use any type of rice, and just modify the cooking times, of course)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 package taco seasoning (or homemade, but I'm lazy)
  • Canola oil
  • 1 can corn nibblets
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 1 can chopped green chilies
  • 8 tortilla shells (I used flour, but you could use any variety)
  • 1 jar enchilada sauce (again, you could use homemade, but I've never tried to make it)
  • Cheddar cheese (to sprinkle on top - vary amount depending on your tastes)

Mix a couple of tablespoons of canola oil with the taco seasoning in a large coverable pot until well combined, then add the uncooked rice. Mix the rice with the seasoning mixture until well combined, and then cook on high(ish) heat until most of the rice has started to turn from slightly translucent to opaque white. Add the water, stir, cover, and turn the heat down to minimum. Let the rice cook for about 20 minutes - until all of the water is absorbed.

When the rice is done, mix in the corn, refried beans, and chilies.

While the rice is cooking, prepare a 9x13 casserole dish by lightly greasing and then covering the bottom of the dish with a layer of enchilada sauce.

Warm the tortilla shells however you prefer. I use the "low-fat" technique outlined at Simply Recipes.

As the shells become ready, spoon some of the rice mixture onto each one, roll the shell around the filling, and place the finished roll into your casserole dish, seam side down. There's great pictures at Simply Recipes that demonstrate how to lay your rolls in the casserole, just remember that whether you lay them widthwise or lengthwise depends on the starting diameter of your tortilla shells. I usually use the large size, and the best way to fit those is widthwise.

When all of the tortillas are filled and in the casserole, pour the rest of your enchilada sauce over the top, and then sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake in oven @ 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes (until cheese is browned and bubbly).

I served these with green salad tossed in salsa and sour cream, with some crushed plain tortillas and a little shredded cheese on top.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

I just about squealed!

Word 2007 has contextual spell check!

Type 'it's' instead of 'its' and Word will flag it with a blue squiggly (like the red squiggly for spelling errors, and green squiggly for grammar errors). Right click on the word, and the suggested replacement is available to replace the original. I haven't tested the full capabilities of this feature, but common homonyms like won and one, knew and new, they're their and there, to two and too, are easily identified and corrected.

Now I have to admit that as a parent I have some reservations about this feature, because it could conceivably become a crutch and hinder students from actually learning which is the appropriate word to use in a given context. However, I also think that perhaps repeatedly having Word suggest corrections may help to reinforce the correct choice.

Now if we could only have this immediately implemented into every message board software currently in use... ;)
I am in heaven.

Last night, I downloaded and installed Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007. The Office 2007 products are not expected to be in stores until January 30th, but in the meantime you can get trial versions here to play with until the official release. The trial versions are fully functional until March 31st.

Now, that probably doesn't sound like an event that would cause so much glee, but then you're probably not as much of an Excel junkie as I am. I thought that I was perfectly happy with my ancient Office XP Suite, but oh my is the sun shining so much brighter today! I haven't tried the new Word yet, but I expect I'll be just as thrilled with it when I do.

I'll post some of my favorite new features as I play more with the programs, as well as any problems and solutions I run in to, just in case anyone is interested.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Laughing so hard there are literally tears running down my face. O Holy Night @ The Sneeze

And the zombiefied version, just for Birch: O Holy Night @
My new favorite Blog: The Sneeze

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Quick! Go look at this picture, and then come back and tell me how long it took you to get it.

I'm down for 6 seconds, although I have to admit I was *really* confused for 5 of those.
It's not even three o'clock yet, and the cafeteria at the college is out of coffee and not making any more for the rest of the day. I'm still here for another two hours, so the lack of coffee is ridiculously unfair. I think I'm going to start a petition for a Starbucks on campus. Or at least a Tim Hortons, since I don't think most of us can afford thrice daily Starbucks fixes.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007