January 2008


Delegates

Yellow=Romney, Green=McCain, Blue=Huckabee, Black=Stripped Delegates

Well, Giuliani and Edwards are out. Very interesting. It’s always sad to see the field narrowed, but it makes February 5th more exciting in my opinion, and predictions generally come easier. After all, I’ve now got a 50/50 chance of correctly predicting the Democratic Nominee and a slightly worse chance of getting the Republican Nominee correct. But, I’m not going to do that, because predictions during elections are really rediculous and unhelpful when you think about it.

Looking at (actual) pledged delegates for the Republican field (taken from Wikipedia):

John McCain is leading with 89 (44%)

Mitt Romney is second with 27 (13%)

Mike Huckabee is in third with 7 (3%)

Keeping in mind that 1,191 delegates are necessary for a win, this race is still very much in its infancy. More than 1,000 delegates are at stake on Feb. 5th, but even then it is unlikely that one candidate will sweep the delegates. On a side note, check out the “candidate match game” at USAtoday if you’re undecided on who to vote for. These types of matches are fun, and they don’t tell you a whole lot, but go ahead and try it anyway 🙂

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Jimmy and Snowmoose

Tuesday, Jan. 22nd

As temps rose cabin fever forced Jimmy and I outside. I envisioned us building a snowmoose together. Instead I spent 20 minutes working on the snow sculpture by myself (he wasn’t interested in helping) after which I carried Jimmy around to inspect moose damage on our apple trees. I am definitely not a candidate for most careful pregnant woman of the year… On a side note, a cow and calf traipsed into our yard later that evening. Was it a coincidence that I had earlier built a snowmoose? I think not. This pic is of Jimmy posing with MY artwork. I would have preferred that he take a photo of me next to the snowmoose, but I was wary of letting him handle the new camera after his last mishap.

Brian and Jimmy Reading

Wednesday, Jan. 23rd

My twin brother Brian arrived from Fairbanks for a short visit. After an initial re-introduction period, Jimmy and his uncle got along great. Any time Brian would disappear from his sight, Jimmy would start searching for him, shouting “Bine, Bine!”

Hatchers

Sunday, Jan. 27th

After 30 minutes of playing the “What do you want to do? I don’t know, what do you want to do?” game on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I convinced Kevin that we should drive up to Hatcher’s pass. My idea was to bring along hot chocolate that we would all sip together while enjoying the view and making memories that would last a lifetime. What really occured was 1) Jimmy got carsick on the ride up, 2) mommy got carsick from turning around to try to console the kiddo, 3) the temperature on the mountain was at least -10, so we scrambled out of the car for a brisk 2 minute walk before running back to the warmth of the van. I did, however, get the hot (lukewarm) chocolate experience I wanted, as we all cuddled together in the front seats and watched the sun set. I let Veggie Tales keep Jimmy from getting carsick on the ride down. Thanks Bob and Larry. You guys are the best.

A post from a blogger who I follow really hit home with me the other day. Jess from Making Home wrote about changing our mindset from “What am I going to DO today?” to “Who am I going to BE today?” Her post centers on a change of thought, and as I generally find myself measuring the success of a day by how many actions I’ve accomplished, I like the gentle reminder that focusing on who I am will bring about much better results (and more joy). From the site:

 “It helps me to think of the kind of character I want to have (which will then translate into the actions I choose), rather than focusing on the actions themselves. And of course, none of it is possible on our own. We can’t “muster up” a gracious spirit or a responsive attitude, at least not consistently. But we CAN be any and all of these things when we are prayerfully submitted to God as women.”

 Even though Jess focuses on the issue from a Stay-At-Home-Mom perspective, it can apply equally to any person. You can check out the entire post here

Penny 

Or, more precisely, the Lincolns. “What rant is Janeen preparing to embark on now?”, you’re asking yourself. But just stick with me. Unless of course you have a “real” job. If you’re a SAHM like me (or, even if you know what SAHM means) you might be interested in the following post. If not, just join me for the next great post on Jimmy’s boogers, or politics, or whatever.  Still here? Ok then, check out some of my favorite ways to earn a penny (or a point, or a frequent flier mile) online. The list below details some of my favorite earning sites. These are the sites that provide better payouts, take the least amount of effort, and resist the urge to sell your email addy to taiwan at the bargain rate of 1,000,000 addresses for a penny. 

  •  MyPoints – I’ve been with these guys for several years. You basically just get a couple emails a day and you click on a link at the bottom and then get rewarded with points which can then be redeemed for rewards. They have a large list of rewards partners. I have these emails filtered to a separate folder in my mail program called “paid emails” and then when I get a chance I just click through a bunch of them. It takes very little time to click, and although it takes a million emails to earn anything decent, it’s always been a nice treat for me. Lately I’ve been redeeming my points for Gap.com gift cards and then spending them on maternity clothes. With about two years of occasional clicks (I by NO means take the time to click on all emails, usually around 1/4) I earn enough for a $50 gift card. Sweet. Check out their list of rewards.
  • E-Miles – I’ve only been a member of this site for around 12 months, but I like that the payout is very straight-forward. Instead of points or cash, this site offers frequent flier miles for clicking on offers on their page (no emails sent to your inbox) and then answering a SHORT survey about the offer (usually takes me 30 seconds). Unfortunately, Alaska Airlines is not a partner, but there are several other airlines with whom you can earn miles. I choose to earn miles on Northwest, and have already received several in my NWA account. I’m expecting to earn around 1000 miles a year from this site. Not a lot, I know, but combined with E-rewards (below), I can get a ticket every few years. They offer miles on Northwest, Continental, Delta, or US Airways.
  • E-Rewards – This company takes the most time out of all that I participate in regularly, but if they offer a redemption that fits your lifestyle, it is worth checking them out. Their rewards are few, and specific, but they do offer NWA miles, which I combine with those from E-miles (above). They offer plenty of opportunities to earn, by sending survey offers to your inbox. Sometimes the surveys are shorter, and sometimes they are long enough that I don’t bother. But, you always earn a small amount, even if you don’t qualify for the survey. They also offer blockbuster gift cards in small increments, which could be useful for many folks. 
There are many other sites which I have joined, and periodically try to earn from, but 99.9% of my “paid email” time is spent on the three companies above. Don’t think that you have to sit down every day and work on these to get any sort of reward. My usual pattern is to ignore all the emails for a week or two (I have them filtered into a separate folder in my mail program), and then I spend 5-15 minutes clicking around. It may not be worth your time (or interesting to you), but I just wanted to share! If you are interested in becoming a member of any of these sites, let me know because I can send you a referral email and get some earnings (points, miles, etc.) fromf your joining. 
 
One great site which keeps very up-to-date on earning points, miles, $$ online is Free Frequent Flier miles. This guy is a real guru for getting the most out of your time online. 
 
Lastly, if you’d like to join up, but are nervous about your mail program getting spammed, consider starting a “disposable email” account. I get throw-away addys through SpamGourmet. I give out a disposable address anytime I’m nervous about a site or an offer.  
Equilibrium

If you’re looking for a good flick (and who isn’t?), take a look at Equilibrium. Created in 2002, this film imagines a society whose residents have been pharmaceutically stripped of feelings in an effort to control the darker side of human nature. Equilibrium takes place slightly in the future, and provides an interesting look at the importance of human emotion. This film prompts the questions, “Do feelings cause more harm than benefit?”, and “Should the goal of peace be placed above the right to personal freedom?” Although there are several inconsistencies in the film, the overall effect is interesting, and we both really enjoyed this experience. For more information, see Equilibrium’s page at the Internet Movie Database. This film is rated “R” for violence (with very little blood seen), but contains no other language, etc. If you decide to rent this flick, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought.

 republican_primary_results.png

 

With Super Tuesday (February 5th) fast approaching, and three primaries/caucuses already completed,  it’s time to take another look at the 2008 presidential race. You can see updated info on how many delegates have been pledged to each candidate here for the Republican Party, and here for the Democratic Party. It’s difficult (if not impossible) to obtain unbiased information about candidates, but you can check out Project Vote Smart for reasonably good info. For a look at what candidate’s claims have been shown false (at least by this site – take everything with a grain of salt) you can surf to FactCheck.org.  The Alaska Republican Party will be holding their “Presidential Preference Vote” on February 5th, according to the Republican Party of Alaska website. Alaska Democrats will also be holding their caucuses on this date. Wasilla area Republicans can vote for their choice of candidates at the Regan Building (3161 E. Palmer Wasilla Hwy) on Feb. 5th, from 4:30-8:30 pm. Alternate polling locations are available on the the Republican Party of Alaska website. Alaskan voters who haven’t yet registered can do so by filling out this form and mailing or faxing it to the elections office.  

Since buying a chest freezer two weeks ago, we’ve been enjoying more homemade ice cream and frozen yogurt (we now have room to keep the canister in the freezer). The freezer was our anniversary/Christmas gift to each other. I love being married to a man who is as practical as I am!We’re still working on developing our ice cream recipes, but I wanted to share one I found this week. Kevin has declared this my best ice cream yet. Although we generally prefer to make frozen yogurt (less fat and sugar), this is a great ice cream to make once in a while. It’s intended to taste like Coldstone’s “cake batter” ice cream, and it hits pretty close to the mark. Now to find a recipe for Coldstone’s “sweet cream”…

Cake Batter Ice Cream

Recipe #128952 at RecipeZaar.com

I made this recipe after falling in love with Coldstone and Carvel’s Cake 

Batter Ice Cream. I recommend using Splenda instead of sugar since there 

is sugar in the cake mix. You can use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract if you 

please. You can also use 3/4 cup of cake mix. THIS RECIPE IS TO USE 

WITH AN ICE CREAM MAKER (MINE IS BY CUISINART) 

by Chef #227638 

10 1/2 cup servings 

30 min 5 min prep 

 

1cup whole milk, well chilled 

3/4cup granulated sugar 

2cups heavy cream, well chilled 

1teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

2/3cup cake mix 

 

1. Place freezer bowl of ice cream maker into the freezer. It is better to keep it in there 24/7 that way it is always ready. 

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk and granulated sugar until the sugar is dissolved. 

3. Stir in the heavy cream and vanilla to taste. 

4. Stir in cake mix, making sure there are no lumps. 

5. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl and let mix until it has thickened (about 25-30 minutes). 

6. Remove ice cream from freezer bowl and place into a separate container. 

7. Place freezer bowl and the ice cream into the freezer to further harden.  

 Janeen’s Notes:I used 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream (previously frozen) and it still turned out great. Next time I plan on reducing both the cake mix and sugar to 1/2 cup. Also, this mixture was about 1 cup too much for my 1 quart ice cream maker, so I didn’t use the entire mix. 

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