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Showing posts from December, 2013

Normalcy is Good

A handful, meaning four, visitors have emailed to ask why I haven't posted many blog entries recently. The answer: life has been fairly "normal" from my perspective.

I'm grading finals, dealing with student pleas for homework extensions, and feeling overwhelmed — like every other instructor I know. A friend shared that he was up before 3 a.m. to grade essays and record grades by his university's deadlines. The end-of-semester crunch is what it is… no matter who you are as a student or instructor.

The only "autistic" frustration was our cat, Lucy, triggering the burglar alarm while we were on the PA Turnpike. For those unfamiliar with the Turnpike and Tollway systems, these are true "Expressway" systems. The exits are far apart (28 miles or more), and sometimes those exits are to service areas, not junctions.

So, when Lucy's Christmas tree curiosity tripped the motion sensor (which was supposed to aim above pet-level), we were about f…

Herbal Teas, Please... Not that Bitter "Real" Tea

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Tea Time (Photo credit: Maia C) I love teas. One of the best gifts ever was a "PerfecTea" maker (16 oz) from Teavana. I use it daily throughout the winter months, and several times a week in the summer.

My current loose-leaf tea collection includes seven berry, kiwi colada, spiced apple, pumpkin spice, red chai, hibiscus punch, honeybush vanilla, and several other herbal varieties. What I don't buy are most true teas: they are too difficult to get right without a lot of attention to details.

Maybe my tastebuds are too sensitive. Few people care if their teas are a little bitter or "off" in some way, but I can tell when a green, black, or white tea has gone wrong. Too much heat or steeped too long, teas are ruined. I can't drink ruined teas.

Teavana provides a basic guide to brewing teas, "How to Make Tea" [http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/how-to-make-tea]. When you boil a kettle of water, it is 212 degrees F. Herbal, rooibos, and maté teas shou…