Sacred Music Friday: We Are an Offering

Some time back I shared a sacred dance version of this song. Here is a very nice solo rendition.

a different kind of exercise

I have long gotten my exercise by walking. I have always had an audio program to listen to while doing so. First it was audio books and then lectures from The Great Courses. Things have changed, however.

gym roomI require surgery to remove something on my intestinal tract that does not belong there. My surgeon tells me that the stronger I am at the time of surgery the quicker the recovery. And the kind of strength he wants comes from weight training, not walking aerobic exercise.

Fortunately, my wife Terry knows her way around the weight room and gave me some solid training in the exercise room here at Four Seasons. So it’s a different routine. It’s not conducive to listening to audio programs as I need to focus on what I’m doing. But the work needs to be done, so I’m doing the work.

I want to be as strong and healthy as possible for my surgery.

my recipe software dilemma

I have been using the Living Cookbook recipe software for some years now. When I was first thinking about computerizing my recipes the most popular recipe software was MasterCook, But at the time it was between owners and not supported, so I went with Living Cookbook. Now the opposite is the case.

I really like Living Cookbook. I like the format the program uses to print out the recipes and I like the way I can search on any number of criteria. However, Living Cookbook hasn’t issued an update since 2014 when it released Living Cookbook 2015. I would periodically check the web site to see if there were any updates, but there were none. Then the web site was gone.

I worry about the accessibility of my data should something happen to the software or should my laptop give it up. Based on suggestions from folks in my kitchen appliances and pressure cooker Yahoo groups, I downloaded trial versions of both Paprika and Cook’n. Both support the import of Living Cookbook data, but I didn’t like the look and feel of either and I didn’t like the format of either for printing recipes. That leaves MasterCook, which does not provide a trial version, but does seem to have a pretty straightforward user interface.

Really, I don’t want to spend the money for a new program when I like Living Cookbook so much. But the question, again is what about the accessibility of my data in the event of a problem? MasterCook allows you to import a Living Cookbook database by using a third-party program called cb2cb (that is CookBook to Cookbook). I can export my Living Cookbook database to an .fdx or .fdxz format and use cb2cb to convert it to the latest MasterCook .mz2 format.

So here’s my plan. I’m going to keep using Living Cookbook, but whenever I add a recipe I will export .fdx and fdxz files from my laptop to my desktop. That way, if something goes south I can buy MasterCook and still have all of my recipes. Not optimal but workable.

But Living Cookbook, did you have to leave without saying goodbye?


Silences coverSilences
Tillie Olsen
Feminist Press, City University of New York
Anniversary edition, July 22, 2014, 370 pages
Kindle edition $9.99
Purchased during an Early Bird Books sale for $1.99

The book Silences was originally published in 1978. This edition is a 2003 reprint with a long introduction that page homage to Tillie Olsen and gives her credit for broadening the scope of reading lists in college curriculum.

The book is a strange hodgepodge conglomeration. The first two pieces are reconstructions of talks Olsen gave in which she calls out the marginalization of women authors and writers of color. Points very well and clearly made.

This is followed by Olsen’s very long afterword to the 1972 reprint of the nineteenth century expose, Life in the Iron Mills by Rebecca Harding Davis, a marginalized writer writing about marginalized men and women and their horrific working conditions.

The book then includes excerpts from a variety of authors, many of whom were not at all marginalized. Olsen also writes about the poor pay authors receive and the lack of recognition given women writers.

This is a book of the 1970’s. I was in the book business in those days and when Olsen writes that most publishing houses “are now owned by” conglomerate corporations I can only think that is nothing at all compared to the consolidated state of publishing today.

If nothing else Silences captures one worldview in the 1970’s and for that it is worth preserving.

lemony Greek chicken soup

Terry and I first discovered Greek lemon soup at a local restaurant in Gilroy shortly after we moved there. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s not a soup you come across every day. So when Terry suggested making the soup for a Sunday dinner I was more than agreeable.

Greek chicken soupI printed out three recipes, each somewhat different from the other. Terry selected a recipe from Cooking Light, lemony Greek chicken soup. I left it to her to do the cooking since she knew what she wanted.

She followed the recipe pretty closely. The recipe included carrots, spinach, orzo, red pepper, and stock. I bought a package of cooked pollo asado from the refrigerator case for the chicken. I thought the result was quite tasty. Terry found it a bit too thick for what she wanted. We’ll try another recipe for a more broth-like consistency, but this one held up quite nicely in its own right.

Sacred Music Friday: Gaelic Prayer

From my friends at First-Plymouth Church Lincoln Nebraska.

Nancy Wilson

Nancy Wilson left us in mid-December. I would say that she was a jazz great, but the Associated Press obituary that appeared in the Los Angeles Times stated that she did not want to be considered a jazz singer. She thought of herself as a vocal stylist across genres.

Nancy WilsonI bought my first CD player around 1992 and one of the first CDs I purchased was one of Nancy Wilson’s.

Terry and I saw her live in performance twice. We saw her at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts where she was not at all happy. The tickets did not sell well and she was really annoyed with the acoustics. When she asked “What’s that noise?” and was told it was the air conditioner she let out a frustrated huff.

On the other hand, when we saw her at the Villa Montalvo outdoor venue with Ramsey Lewis she was in her element and gave a brilliant, electric performance. She was totally on her game. We were delighted and had a marvelous time.

We keep losing the great performers. We miss you, Nancy.

photo credit: John Matthew. Creative Commons License ShareAlike 2.0 Generic. Cropped