Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pumpkin Season

The pumpkin season in Leesburg has officially begun with the opening of "Pumpkinville" this weekend. We went to check it out, but not to buy. These pumpkins are for carving not eating and I don't want to carve too soon or it will go moldy before Halloween - afterall it isn't even October yet!

However, with pumpkins everywhere and cooler nights, I have started thinking about pumpkin recipes. I've already made pumpkin mousse, but I think next I will make pumpkin bread. Here is the recipe:

Lightened Up Pumpkin Bread
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
2 eggs or equivalent egg substitute
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 c. shredded carrots
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg

Blend applesauce, pumpkin, brown sugar and eggs. In a separate bown mix together the remaining dry ingredients. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the dry ingredients. Put in greased loaf pan Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Allow to cool and remove from the pan. Makes 10 servings.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Google Searching hints

At work yesterday there was a Brown Bag on Google searching. I didn't attend, because I thought I was already very good at this. My co-worker did attend however, and she brought me a copy of the handout. To my surprise, even I learned a few new Google tricks. Here they are:

Calculations and Conversions
You can type in the calculation you want directly into the google search box.
  • 5 million euros in dollars,
  • 14% of 2362,
  • half a cup in teaspoons
Flight Status
You can type in the airline followed by the flight number and hit enter to go directly to a link that will show you the flight status for that flight.
Example: United 918

Specific Site Types
When searching for a subject, you can specify that you only get a certain type of website in the results or you can exclude a specific type.
  • To exclude educational sites while searching for "cat illnesses" type: "cat illnesses"
  • To only see German websites while searching for "Frankfurt Hotels" type: "Frankfurt Hotels"
To see only recent information
To restrict your search results to postings from the last 3, 6 or 12 month periods while searching for something, precede your search string with date: and a 3, 6 or 12
  • date:3 "Dog Shows"
  • date:12 "Football"
  • date:6 "Graham crackers"

How to photograph sunsets

I am often frustrated when trying to take photographs of sunsets. They are never even close to what I was seeing in real life. Today I read a hint that I hope to try someday soon.

The simple trick is to start by aiming above the sun. Aim high enough so that you can't see the sun through the viewfinder and then hold the shutter button down halfway to set the focus. Now you can lower the viewfinder and compose your picture exactly how you want it. Don't let up on the shutter button though. When you have the shot you want, push the shutter button the rest of the way to take the shot.

As you can see in this photo, we didn't know this trick yet. We were actually trying another trick to make it look like I was holding the sun. Perhaps this new trick will help with that trick also.

Visit a "real" bookstore online

Are you like me and you love browsing books in a bookstore? I love visiting bookstores, but I usually prefer the prices at Well now you can have both. Amazon has a new website called in which you browse books on shelves just like you would in a real store.

You can search by category, or browse the shelves as they look in a bookstore. You can select a book and get a closeup with information about the book.

When you are ready to buy, your "shopping cart" is directed to Amazon where you pay via Amazon's normal procedures. Currently it is available only in the USA and Canada, but will soon be coming to the other countries where Amazon has a presence. Until then, you can browse here and go to your local Amazon to buy.