Saturday, February 25, 2012



Alyson was happily counting to herself.
Alyson: "...8...9...10...scootie..."
Erik: "Scootie isn't a real number."
Alyson: (laughs) 

How to Swallow a Big Pill

Have a large or bitter pill to swallow?  Need help?  Here I am, ready to share some common knowledge.

What works for me
  1. Place the pill lengthwise along your tongue - toward the front - not on the tip - just before you get the harder lumpy part.  You'll feel it when you put the pill down. (I used to put it as far back as I possibly could with the unpleasant result of tripping my gag reflex)  You want the water to be able to catch the pill and carry it along.  If it's too far back, it will get caught on your already nervous tongue.
  2. Slowly fill your mouth with something you like to drink (like juice or Gatorade).  You're taking a horse pill - you deserve something more than water if you want it.
  3. Don't swallow as soon as the drink is in your mouth.  Fill it comfortably - you shouldn't feel like it's going to come out because there's too much.  Just comfortably full.
  4. Swallow at a quick but comfortable pace.  Don't try to bolt it - you want the part of your tongue that touches the top of your mouth to lay down.
Sometimes, even the best intentions don't work.  For instance, when I was pregnant with Aly, I once had to take an antibiotic.  There are only a few kinds you can take while pregnant and I won the lottery.  It was a horse pill.  And it had to be taken several times a day for many days.  The best part?  It dissolved in my mouth while I tried to swallow it.  While I was pregnant, I was pretty lucky - moderate nausea as the day went on, but if something even as benign as a toothbrush touched my tongue, all bets were off.  The dissolving pill was a bad thing.  If you've ever had the opportunity to stand on the beach with your feet on the wet sand, you probably know the feeling.  When the waves hug your feet, little trickles of sand wash away from under your foot each time.  I had that same feeling in my mouth - but it wasn't pleasant like standing on a sun warmed beach.  I could feel it eroding on my tongue while I was trying desperately to swallow the thing.  After I lost a few down the toilet, I used the trickery approach.

When all else fails, you can hide it in some mashed potatoes or pudding.  I think the hardest part for some people is getting their tongue (which is almost an involuntary muscle in my opinion) to cooperate.  Using something more substantial than liquid can help trick your body into relaxing.  It needs to be something smooth so you don't have to chew it.  Big enough to fit the pill inside, but not so big that you're going to gag on it.

Good luck! 

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to remember the difference between affect and effect

My mnemonic device for remembering the difference between affect and effect:

Affect: The verb - the action causing the effect
The bass beats of my neighbor's sub-woofer affect my ability to sleep.

Effect: The noun - the outcome of something that happens
One of the effects of sleep deprivation is the decrease in awareness of socially *accepted behavior.

How I remember them:

  1. Affect: Action (both start with A)
  2. A before E (the action happens before the outcome)
Comic by Grammar Girl
Link: quick and dirty tips

Interesting?  Maybe not.
Helpful?  To me, yes.

(as a side note - I've thought about them both so much in the last 10 minutes that now, they both look strange in any sentence.)

* Bonus tip! 

How I remember accept versus except
Accept: To receive
Except: Do not receive - think exception

February 20, 2011 - finger painting

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Words of Wisdom

One of my friends at work (Don) is full of gems.

If you want to catch elephants, you have to be willing to buy some peanuts.

 You don't want to precisely engineer a train to drive off of a cliff.
Meaning that the best plans and implementation won't help you if you take your focus off of where you want to go.

Valentine's Day 2011 - Seven

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Microwave scrambled eggs

And now, for your first installment of Common Knowledge!

You can make lovely scrambled eggs in the microwave in less time than it takes to make toast.  Did you know that?  I didn't used to.

  • Quick
  • Easy to cook and clean up
  • The eggs are soft and yummy but also a perfect shape and size for breakfast sandwiches

Software (ingredients)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • Optional flavorings 
    • Cheese (small handful)
    • Pepper (to taste)
    • Salt (if you must - to taste)
      • Please, please do not over salt your eggs.  If you're topping them with cheese and/or lunch meat there will already be salt.  If you're eating it on a breakfast sandwich with butter - there's even more salt.  You don't want to start attracting wild animals as a salt lick do you?  Good, I'm glad we had this discussion.

Hardware (tools)
  • Microwave safe cereal bowl
  • Fork
  • Spoon 
  • Microwave (as per usual, microwave times vary - please do not eat your eggs if they don't look done - I don't want to find out any of you have developed salmonella)

  1. Rupture egg surface
  2. Divulge egg contents into awaiting vessel
  3. Making use of the pronged instrument, denature the egg proteins (thanks Alton)
  4. Incorporate liquid - mix until smooth texture is reached
  5. Place vessel with prepared egg mixture into the awaiting microwave
    * Important - remove the fork prior to latching the escape hatch
  6. Microwave on high for 30 seconds
  7. Remove from microwave
  8. Using pronged instrument, gently stir the egg mixture - break up any areas beginning to firm, especially around the edges (this keeps it from turning into a hockey puck)
  9. Return the vessel to the microwave (remove fork, close hatch)
  10. Microwave on high for an additional 30 seconds
  11. Remove the vessel carefully (it will be hot)
  12. Assess the egg mixture - if soft but set, the eggs are done.  If the eggs are runny, return the vessel to the microwave for additional quarter minute increments.
  13. Introduce flavorings now if desired - if adding cheese, return to microwave for an additional 15 seconds
  14. Using the spoon, gently evacuate the egg mixture to the intended target (in my case, a toasted and buttered English muffin)

Please note - I think I'm funny when I'm sleep deprived.

January 26, 2011 part 2 - MayLee on the big ball

Thursday, February 2, 2012