Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Little Math Distraction

My extended family and I have been playing with an e-mail that was going around with a math problem regarding girls, backpacks and cats. Maybe you've seen it... I have a math problem of my own.

Yesterday, I was making sugar cookies, which called for 1 cup of oil and 4 cups of flour, among other things. I used up all of my oil. Meanwhile, Daniel decided to start "washing the dishes," which means playing with all the dishes and getting water everywhere. In the process of adding the rest of the ingredients, I realized I had added an extra cup of flour. I tasted the dough (why else do I make cookies but to eat the dough?) and it was indeed too flour-y.

What to do? Hmmmm... I'm out of oil... I found some olive oil - half a cup. So, here are some possible questions... What was the limiting reagent in my cookie recipe? (That would be for the first year chemistry student.) How much more flour (and other ingredients, if I had listed them) do I need to add to make the cookies taste right?

Those are some valid questions. However, the questions I want answered are these: How many cookie dough balls did Daniel eat while I was on the phone? How much time did it take me to clean up the mess that Daniel made while I was making cookies?

One note about Daniel eating cookie dough balls... When I started to squish the balls with a glass dipped in sugar (with Daniel's help, of course), Daniel pointed to the spot where a ball had been and asked, "Where'd it go?" This is a game we like to play with things that Daniel hides. I said, "I don't know... where's it go?" At this point, usually he pulls it out from behind his back and says, "There it is!" This time, however, he said with a sheepish smile, "In my mouth!"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Trip to Memory Lane (aka S Meridian Rd)

My brother recently posted some pictures of himself at the Fort Worth Water Gardens (What are the Water Gardens? Visit - It was a nice childhood memory. So I went and took some pictures of a couple of other childhood memory locations. Since we were born in Bluffton, Indiana and I have office hours in Bluffton twice a week - these were not as hard to come by as Clay's trip to Texas. These locations weren't designed by any famous New York architects, but we had fun with them anyway.

Growing up Clay and I had a thing about finding ways to go underground. The above shot is one of a drainage pipe that we went in several times. I believe that if you went half a mile back in there you would find our names inscribed on the tunnel ceiling. This began a tradition of hanging out in drainage pipe that spanned two other states (Texas and Michigan). We also had lots of fun in caves in Tennessee.

This is the location that actually sparked my memory to stop and take the pictures. You may not be able to tell now, but this is the former site of the Terhune Boys' Dam. It made a nice swimming hole as we backed the creek up for quite a ways. The project was abandoned after too many leeches showed up to swim in our swimming hole. I have a very vivid memory of climbing out of the water and trying to pull this strange thing off my leg and then seeing blood. Then a wild scream dance ensued. Well, that's all for my 3 minute trip down Memory Lane - I couldn't stay much longer because it was only 11 degrees outside and my face was going to freeze off!