Friday, February 22, 2008

Twinkie Goodness

A while back, Cathryn and I met up with an old friend of her. They were having some sort of Girl Scout alumni retreat. The focus was on crafts and relaxation and as we approached the dining hall, we could see two women in massage chairs, working hard at the relaxing part. Since it was still early we took a tour around to see what projects people were working on. One particular activity in the corner caught my eye.

It involved twinkies. Specifically, using twinkies as a modeling clay and sculpting with it. I was horrified and fascinated. I took one of the the instruction sheets, because I will do this. I will sculpt something using only twinkies as the "clay".

Here are the instructions. If you were the person who came up with this idea, please contact me so I can give you proper credit for this.

Twinkies Project

Goal: To sculpt "anything" from 4 packages of TWINKIES

Things you'll need
4 packages of Twinkies - that's 8 cakes total
1 knife
plastic or latex gloves

Step 1: Open 4 pkgs of Twinkies.
Step 2: With a knife, slice off and save the base of each Twinkie.
Note the base is a different color and will provide a contrasting color for whatever you choose to sculpt.
Step 3: Mash all the base pieces together with your hands (this is a great time to put on those gloves) and include as much of the white cream filling that may be stuck to the bases. We will be using every part of the twinkie for this project. Continue kneeding until you have achieved a uniform color and consistency. Set aside in a ball. The stickiness will go away eventually and you will have what resembles "play dough".
Step 4: Do the same with the rest of the bars. This may take a while...persevere.
Step 5: Think of something to SCULPT! Sleeping animal...Christmas tree ornament...pretty much whatever!

Once you've finished sculpting, place on a firm surface to dry. Your finished product will harden and keep FOREVER! It will never rot or mold, but it will always have a bit of that "Twinkie" smell.

If you complete this project one rainy day, please send me a picture so I can post it here.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Cautionary Tale

A week ago, Nadine and I had a scare when two people broke down our front door at about 12:30 am early Sunday morning on Feb 3rd. We were both home when this happened so it was terrifying. To make a long story short (if you want the longer, scarier story email me) we are both okay and actually were able to recover some, not all of the stuff that was stolen.

We've been doing what we can to try to feel safe at home again. I've been doing some reading and home invasions are a different sort of fright you might have if you came home and someone had broken in, took a bunch of stuff and left. The police were great and reassured us that we did everything right. It also seems that this was a random act and not that we were cased and chosen. I realize that when something like this happens it makes other people feel better if perhaps we had set ourselves up to be victimized. Our front door, although fairly solid, looked like an easier target than the others down the street. Once ours is replaced, it will look as tough if not tougher than our neighbors - a solid reinforced steel door with an additional metal security door/gate.

I'm angry that our neighbors didn't do anything. It took them 3 house-shaking tries to break the door. The 2 inch wide solid wood door split in 2 since the deadbolt held tight and the door frame was as solid as the door. The door broke into about 5 pieces as they burst through the entry way demanding money. We decided that we need to know our neighbors better. If something happened tomorrow, I know that I won't worry about meddling or interfering and I will call the police without a second thought.

I also have added a few numbers to my cell phone. Neither of us knew that if you called 911 from your cell phone, that you may end up at the state police and not the local police department. It's just the luck of the cell phone towers and proximity to the highway apparently. Nadine was on hold for over 2 minutes as she hid in the backyard trying to call for help. Luckily I was able to take advantage of the situation and get out. Once I saw them leave in a waiting SUV, I ran back and called from the house landline. I got someone on 911 immediately. You should know this and have a house phone near your bedside. We do now. Call your local police and fire department and ask them for the direct dial numbers and add them to your cell phone. In San Francisco Police emergency dispatch is 415-553-8090. If you want to report non-emergency suspicious activity, call 415-553-0123.

While I don't want to scare you, gentle readers, this is something that does happen. If you want to do what you can to make your home as safe as possible, here are some links to prevent crime from happening in the first place:

Crime Doctor
National Crime Prevention Council
Crime Prevention Tips