MAR (and Eight!): this is a pretty good example of what a false color image looks like (there are other types of false color, which really just means “not true color,” but this one is the most common).

-The river isn’t quite black (as water should be, like those two oxbow lakes east of the river) because it’s carrying lots of sediment (and probably chemicals, too).
-You can see a small town just west of the center of the image, along the west bank of the river. Super cyan!
-You can tell what crops are flourishing and which have already been fallowed (meaning harvested & now pretty much just dirt) based on the color. Pink = highly irrigated, vegetated plots. Darker blues = wetter soils. The brighter the blue, the drier the object. (Which is one reason urban areas are so bright - high runoff!)
-The cyan lines throughout the image are roads.
-Red along the river is grassland; to the east of the river there’s a crescent-shaped road, and east of that is more red, but THIS red is forest. You can differentiate between these reds/vegetation types based on texture. (Grasslands are smoother and forests are rougher.) There’s a bunch of random stands (groups of trees) throughout the image, too, if you look. They’re easy to pick out from the crops because they’re much redder.

If I had internet at my house, I could show you cooler imagery, but Google serves well enough in a pinch.

Obviously I have time tonight....

Not replying to everyone (except those who sent messages)…

mar replied to your post: If you don’t hear from me much for a while…

Oh my gosh, congratulations! I am so excited for you! How old is YOUR SON?!?!?! :)

Okay, a few details that we can disclose:

  • He was born early this morning.
  • He’s 7 pounds even and everything checks out health wise.
  • We’re going to call him Ryland Cypress.

running-with-guts replied to your post: If you don’t hear from me much for a while…

NIKKI!!! This is SO exciting! Congratulations! And also: good thing your school closed, eh?! ;)

Yes. This is something I’ve been thinking about all afternoon.

I had actually received a call from one of the day cares that had my resume to set up an interview. I received both messages at the same time, but figured I should call the agency first. I’ll be calling the day care lady tomorrow to let her know I’m not interested.

God’s providence is truly amazing.

Meeting the internet tomorrow

So tomorrow I get to meet another member of the internet.@Mar-kicksass is here and we’re going to get together for a run and breakfast in the morning.

I’m excited. This will be the third time I’ve met anyone from the Tumblr community. The first was when @Bendoeslife came through town doing the Do Life tour, then I met @Smasheton when she moved to the Queen City.

And now I get to meet Mar. Expect to be spammed with meetup posts tomorrow folks!


After reading this Tumblr post about a pedestrian who thinks she owns the entire sidewalk I was inspired. 

That post described a woman blocking the sidewalk with her mean dog and a long leash.  She didn’t like a bicyclist ringing a bell at her asking her nicely to get the hell out of the way.  Hey, that was in California.  Forget bikes, aren’t you allowed to drive cars on the sidewalks in the Golden State?

Anyway, I have a bell on one of my bikes.  I decided that on my ride home from work today I’d ride on the sidewalk.  And stand up for bicyclists everywhere!

The first animal lover in my way was surrounded by so many squirrels I was worried about squishing one. So I quietly moved along. 

I saw several dog walkers and dinged my bell at them.  You know what?  They got out of my way.  Damned right.  Except for the sheltie.  Did you know those dogs like to chase bicycles?  And their owners don’t even care!


(1) The US Postal Service is MAGICAL. They found me even with this ridiculously vague (yet accurate) address. Color me impressed.

(2) SMILE FRIDAY: The Internet kicks ass and sends me “Stop Being Broken, You Dolt” care packages edition! Not pictured: box (see photo [1]) covered with a thousand animal stickers, tea (!!), and a fancy brand of gel I’ve never heard of. Must. Get. Better! I wanna run and try itttttt. </whine></impatience> (THANK YOUUUUU!)

(3) Chrysti advised me to rub the BioFreeze into my KT Tape. HOLYMOLYIAMINHEAVEN. Pro tip: always listen to Chrysti.

Happy Brenna is happy.

A Pontoon Houseboat Is Like A Large Version Of What You Described…

…but with a house-like structure built on top.

If you Google “Pontoon Houseboat” you’ll see.

Yes, we were hanging out on a boat and yes, we’re interested in buying a boat but the two are not directly related.

When we decided to sell our beach place, which cost us a pretty penny each month, we came up with the plan to purchase an inexpensive boat to use as a beach place, instead.

We knew Captain Jerry and started asking him lots of questions– which led to a friendship that began to include dinners, dancing and hanging out on his boat.

He knows that Annie and I are married and monogamous but he still likes hanging out with us.

I’m still trying to decide between a houseboat and a sailboat but, in either case, I’ll be looking for a four-figure bargain that has nice living quarters.

My goal is to have a floating beach place that only costs me a few hundred dollars per month, including the boat payment— and I’m 100% sure I can make that happen.

There’s a lot on the market for under ten grand– and the public mooring fields are free.

That’s tough to beat.


Appraisal Shenanigans

iamwandering-and-lusting replied to your post: Also… That moment when your home is ap…

Oh no. There must be a reason to appraise so low. Get a different person in for a second opinion.

runeatlovesleepmn replied to your post: Also… That moment when your home is ap…

ugh. is getting another appraiser out grab second opinion an option?

iamwandering-and-lusting, runeatlovesleepmn - hopefully I have some kind of appeal option or maybe even an opportunity for a second appraisal. It turns out that the really shitty value was because of the worst possible comps. 

Of the four comps, two homes weren’t in our neighborhood (we’re on the edge of a very desirable part of town, so while close geographically, they weren’t comparable as prices are very much lower there). The other two homes actually in our neighborhood were both distressed properties; one sold under foreclosure, and the other was vacant and run down and currently being completely renovated. 

I shit you not, the crappiest possible outcome. My guess is that the appraiser just dialed it in and spent 5 minutes looking for the 4 closest prices she could find.

mar-kicksass replied to your post: Also… That moment when your home is ap…

Can’t you just cite Zillow?

mar-kicksass - I could site Zillow,, and a bunch of different Bank valuation websites and they all come out around 60% higher or more!!! 

Mrs RRR used to be in real estate and I used to work in the mortgage banking field; we’re not wishful-thinking civilians here.  So I put together documentation to show the unsuitability of the comps including Google Street View pics, neighborhood maps, sales tax records, etc., and then provided six comps of my own mapping them to show proximity compared to my home and the comps that the appraiser found, gave the verified sales price, tax records etc. 

Lets see what happens. 

Favorite Friday!

Oh, hey Friday. So good to see you, as always. Especially because you’re burpee-free.

4 of my favorite things this week:

  • I ate two Thin Mints. Just two. I’ve also had a bag of coconut M&Ms open for a week and a half. Two servings (of eight total) remain. I. AM. AWESOME.
  • Making a schedule for myself and [for the most part] sticking to it. What up, productivity?
  • I reunited with beets (I hadn’t eaten them since before NOLA!) over dinner with my grandma and my favorite uncle. The obvious way to my heart is through root vegetables, sass, and sarcasm.
  • Catching up with my oldest friend, who I hadn’t seen in three years. Nothing makes me happier than people you can just fall back into place with as if no time has passed.

3 of my favorite Tumblrs this week:

2 of my favorite songs this week:

1 of my favorite inspirations this week:

  • Jessa again. For reasons. Like stepping out of her comfort zone. Et cetera.
You guys are kind of cute.

markicksass replied to your photoWhen your heat breaks… make a blanket fort? Happy…

Who broke your heart? I will punch them!!!

flaquitalaurita replied to your photoWhen your heat breaks… make a blanket fort? Happy…

I kept reading this as “when your heart breaks” and I was like NOO WHAT HAPPENED? Then I learned to read.

But there’s no need for alarm.

In addition to not having HEAT, I also do not have a heart.*


markicksass replied to your photo: Sweet baby Jesus. Last one for tonight. Pinky…

I clicked over to Joy the Baker. Why does the temperature of the butter matter? It’s going in the oven, why does it have to be cold? I really like your explanations of WHY for baking. I hate cooking/baking etc because of the unknown factor…

Think about your ideal pie crust. It’s perfectly flaky, right? The layered flakiness is caused by the cold butter.

Let’s logic this one out. Softened butter is great when you want a uniform dough, like in cookie, because it makes it so easy to blend by hand, right? Well with pie dough, we don’t want a perfectly smooth and blended dough. We want to see flecks of butter throughout the dough. The clumps are our ticket to happiness.

Butter contains water, and when that water evaporates during the baking process, we’re left with tiny pockets of pie crust goodness. If your butter isn’t super cold, it won’t retain its shape, and the butter will blend uniformly into the dough. If that happens, the butter (and its moisture) will be evenly distributed, and thus evenly removed. What we would rather have happen is for water to be evaporated from a few select locations (which would cause pockets). Follow? If your dough doesn’t have visible butter (clumps/sheets/flecks), you won’t get air pockets, so your dough won’t be flaky. The same concept applies for croissants and scones. 

The colder the butter, the better the butter maintains its shape, the better the pockets created, the flakier the crust. That’s why so much emphasis is placed on cold butter, iced water to bring it together, and chilling the dough (though the chilling also allows moisture to distribute through the flour in the dough). You don’t want soft or melty butter.

This is also why, if you can avoid it, you shouldn’t use margarine or vegetable shortening in pie crusts. Margarine has some water content, though not much, and it’s largely made up of nasty chemicals. Shortening is pure fat - no water. You can use them, but they won’t ever yield as robust a result as cold butter does.

exercise 10232012

bike ride to the gym

3 sets of 26 decline push ups

3 sets of 10 incline press @ 265#

3 sets of 8 dips

3 sets of 10 chin ups

2 sets of 20 incline sit ups

30 minutes on the Expresso stationary bike

bike ride home

the gym kiosk girl (Amberlee) received Lifesavers & Starburst & 2 York peppermints & 2 satsumas.

felt extraordinarily strong at the gym.  i think partly due to eating really well the last few days thanks to a subtle kick in the pants from Markicksass and also because i almost got run over by a truck on the way to the gym and that really set me off.