Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stuff to do to that gets you out of the house.

Spring is around the corner, right? Tons of stuff always going on through The Eno River Association.

Reading groups, star-gazing nights, various hikes, bird-watching excursion, night-time hikes, hikes for tots, and even a parents-night-out hike.

Here's the monthly calendar with all the dates and details.

Love the Eno!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Ten minutes on Durham.

"10-minute Introduction to Durham, NC. Originially created by CurrentRutledge for Duke Law recruitment . . . "

Good stuff.  


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Thank goodness for my Neti Pot

Unfortunately, I didn't manage to avoid the current cold ripping its way through the population of Durham. A terrible head cold this thing is. Today my head was miserably stuffy, despite dosing with cold meds and Advil. Then I remembered my Neti Pot, and foraged through the shelves in the pantry and found it there in its box from when I used it last--maybe 2 years ago when I had my last headcold.

If you haven't heard of one, just let me say I was a skeptic at first too. And let's face it, there's a bit of a 'yuck' factor too.

It's a little pot that looks like a genie's lamp. Mine looks like this, purchased from Whole Foods for less than $10:

Fill it with a quarter teaspoon of salt and warm water to make a saline solution. Then lean over the sink with your head turned, pour the warm saline through the top nostril (remember your head is turned)--miraculously (or more like gravity) the saline travels through to your bottom nostril and comes out. Do it with the other side, and then you can BREATHE again. No, it doesn't hurt. Not at all. Yes, you can easily breathe through your mouth for the few seconds it takes.

Here's sort of what it looks like in action:

Here's an online demonstration I found on youtube:

I only use it when I have a headcold and it's always been easy for me to use. It's supposed to be good for people with sinus trouble or allergies, but I'm not a doctor so you'd have to ask your doctor about that I suppose.

There are some drops of herbal medicines for sale you can put in it if you want, but mainly the saline and warm water do the trick for me. I do it several times a day when my nose is uncomfortably stuffy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Pres. Lincoln's 200th birthday is Thursday.

I've been reading a lot of Lincoln books lately. One of the best books of the ones I've read is Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer.

Even if you know already know something about the topic, this book won't disappoint. The author makes it all seem like it just happened--urgent, suspenseful, well-written, well-researched. Once you pick it up, it's truly hard to put it down until you've read it to the end.

Our Durham library has a copy or two.

At the website I linked above, you can see a few accolades for the book, including historian Doris Kearns Goodwin who says:

"James Swanson has written a terrific narrative of the hunt for Lincoln's killers that will mesmerize the reader from start to finish just as the actual manhunt mesmerized the entire nation. It is a triumphant book."

The author, James Swanson, is a bit of an odd duck, or at least that's the impression I got from this article about him.

You can hear Mr. Swanson discuss his book at this link.

On a related note, the History Channel has been replaying its The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth which is interesting to watch after reading the book.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's in the proposed Stimulus Bill for NC?

The website below purports to detail what is proposed as the Bill stands now.

Projects in North Carolina

Below are the "shovel-ready" projects for which the mayors of this state have requested federal stimulus funding. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not.
Link --->

FAQ of the site.