Well that explains it

“It may help to understand human affairs to be clear that most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, but by people being fundamentally people.”
- From “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Also 1337% of pi = 42

Kat Bakes #1 – Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownies

I baked these while rather merry (mmm wine) and without any special utensils, not even a kitchen scale! Just a bowl, a spoon, a knife, a roasting tin and a bit of guestimation “225 g sugar eh, sure half that 500 g bag will be grand!”.  So simple anyone could do it, and so tasty.

NYOM

For the brownies:

150 g peanut butter (the chunkier the better)
225 g brown sugar
2 eggs
50 g cocoa powder (Green and Black’s is especially good)
75 g self raising flour

For the icing:

75 g unsalted butter
175 g icing sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
A drop of milk

Method:

Chuck the brownie ingredients in a bowl and mix ‘em good.  Grease whatever tin you’re using and lop in the mixture.  Bake at 160 degrees for about half an hour, or until the top is firm and a knife poked into the centre comes out clean but a bit moist.  Don’t overbake, we want it squidgy.  Leave to cool for 10-20 mins in the pan, while you make the icing.  Mix the butter, sugar and cocoa powder together and add little dribbles of milk until it reaches a spreadable consistency. Ice the brownie slab, then cut into portions and NOM.  Easy peasy.

2010 in Review and 2011 Goals

Advance warning, this is going to be a very self indulgent post, with very little bunny [Boo! -Einstein].

Fine, here’s some bunny, just to tide you over. His Lordship. [My favourite blankie. Yes it's pink. Get over it. - Einstein]

Looking back on 2010, although it didn’t feel that way at the time, I actually achieved a lot. The standout moments for me:

  • Paying off my loan and finally becoming debt free
  • A (sort of) promotion in work
  • Performing in a musical again after a hiatus
  • Getting my lovely bunny [Should be top of your list! Hmmph - Einstein]
  • Getting my new car
  • A wonderful trip to Paris with my lovely Dave
  • Helping Dad transform the garden. Learning to grow flowers and vegetables from seed
  • Returning to study

This year I would like to:

  • Decide which route I’m going in my further study: psychology, psychotherapy, counselling, science, veterinary, programming?  Though I’m leaning towards counselling and psychotherapy I still haven’t made up my mind
  • Find a voluntary position in a counselling agency
  • Build on my savings towards further study
  • Find fulfillment in my role in work, or find a more fulfilling job
  • Take steps towards integrating my life with Dave’s. Move in together?
  • Get a wifeybun for Einstein. [What? What's the point since you cut off my harbls?? :( -Einstein] You can still haz snuggles! Typical male! *roll eyes*
  • Read more. I just don’t seem to have any time for pleasure reading these days. This year I’m aiming to read at least one book for leisure each month. [and I aim to NOM at least one of your books each month - Einstein]
  • Build a healthy daily routine (and stick to it): go to bed early and rise early, give myself time for breakfast, walk to work, and take a healthy packed lunch when possible
  • Create more, consume less: more drawing, writing, photography, singing, dance classes
  • Create a spring and summer garden with Dad. Grow more vegetables and bunny food [Now this I approve of  -Einstein]. Transform the front garden

Big plans! Here’s to 2011!

Hoppy Christmas Everybun!

Despite his naughty nomming of most of my belongings, somehow Einstein made it onto Santa’s good list this year! An extra special bunny gift was waiting under the tree for him this Christmas morning…


A box of treats and a new friend!


Ooh what’s inside?


A sissal rattle shaped like a carrot and a willow basket stuffed with fresh parsley, thyme, rocket, apple, pear, banana, oats and Cheerios! All resting on a bed of barn dried grass! NOMTASTIC!


Ohmigosh, is this really all for me?


It will be nommed!!!


Thanks so much mammy! But I didn’t get anything for you *sadface*


Ok so, I suppose I *could* pose with your stupid hat then, but only if you promise not to chase me with it anymore!


Hoppy Christmas everybun!

Bunny it’s cold outside…


You think snow is cool? You ain’t seen nothin’ babe


Let’s see why they’re making such a big deal about this white stuff


Yeah, don’t know what they’re makin’ such a fuss about


I could stay here all day!


Ok, maybe not. I’m cool, but damn this snow is COLD


Retreat!

Since the weekend we’ve been seeing the most extreme snow here in Ireland for decades, and winter has just begun! Cars are stuck, roads impassable, flights grounded, deliveries halted. The city centres are being deserted after 4pm to beat the big freeze home. The child in me absolutely LOVES it. The adult in me will soon feel inconvenienced if it goes on for much longer. But for now, YAY SNOW!

I also got some fab footage of Einstein’s snow binkies, but shall have to wait till I can steal Dave’s ‘puter to do some editing before I can post it. My little netbook just can’t handle the HD goodness! Bunny is now recovering from his exertions upstairs in my bed. Something tells me I’ll be changing the sheets later.

Musings on “becoming a person”

At the moment, for my counselling course, I’m working on an essay comparing the psychodynamic approach to the person-centred approach in therapy.  Essentially this boils down to Sigmund Freud vs Carl Rogers.  We all know of Freud and his importance in psychology (the common phrase “Freudian slip” can be attributed to him and his method of free-association), but Carl Rogers isn’t as well known or recognised beyond psychological circles.  This is really a shame, since as I read more of his work, I find his theory of “becoming a person” really resonates.

Freud viewed people as little more than bags of neuroses, their ego struggling to keep their primal urges (id) in check.  He was all about pathology (being a doctor) and paid little heed to creativity, spirituality, philosophy or existentialism.  He also focused on a person’s psychological past (particularly childhood) with little future outlook.

Rogers creates a more holistic view of the person.  He embraced creativity, joyfulness, spirituality, and believed that each person has an innate “actualizing” or self-fulfilment tendency.  Psychological difficulties arise when a person is subjected to “conditions of worth” ie. when other people impose their conditions upon that person (eg. conditional love).  These conditions, if at odds with that person’s “self concept” or self image (who “I am…” eg. kind, trustworthy, intelligent, athletic etc.) could cause a person to become “incongruent”.  In other words, others can create situations which push the person to act out of character, go against their personal ideals etc. to meet another’s demands.  Being continuously subjected to and influenced by others’ conditions of worth creates dependency, self-denial and despair.

Rogers believed that people have an inbuilt morality, an innate awareness of what is right and wrong for that person.  To be congruent, one should follow their innate “organismic valuing process”.   An actualized, fully functioning person is one which, according to Rogers

is able to experience all of his feelings, and is afraid of none of his feelings.  He is his own sifter of evidence, but is open to evidence from all sources; he is completely engaged in the process of being and becoming himself, and thus discovers that he is soundly and realistically social; he lives completely in this moment, but learns that this is the soundest living for all time.  He is a fully functioning organism, and because of the awareness of himself which flows freely in and through his experiences, he is a fully functioning person

I prefer this “image of the person” to that created by psychoanalysis, of the anxious, dependent person, struggling to keep their impulses under control, having to build up psychological defences to protect themselves from the world. Despite my scientific training I must be a humanist at heart! :)

I groom, therefore I am

My apologies that posts have been lacking lately. I’m juggling full time work,  a part time course, a boyfriend, a bunny and I’ve been dropping the balls lately [too much study, not enough snuggles - Einstein].

Here’s my little man, doing what he does best.  Besides chewing up my textbooks that is.  I don’t think they’ll accept the excuse “the bunny ate my homework” Einstein!

Posts have been lacking lately, as I’m juggling full time work,  a part time course, a boyfriend and a bunny! Here’s some gratuitous Einstein, doing what he does best, to make up for it :)

Hallowe’en Nail Art – Barry M Instant Nail Effects

Clicky to embiggen and appreciate the awesomeness of my new camera!

Please excuse the tip-wear and ragged cuticles… I’m sick! I’ve a terrible head cold right now and feeling very sorry for myself, hence the posting of this when Hallowe’en is actually over… Whoops!  Anyways, for my Hallowe’en mani I used Essence Colour & Go #22 What Do You Think? and Barry M Instant Nail Effects for the crackle.  For the pumpkin thumb I used the same base, plus Barry M #47 Black and OPI Jade is the New Black for the green stalk.

Really liking Barry M Instant Nail Effects, can’t wait to try it over some other colours (I’m thinking Essie Pink Parka, neon pink!).  And now that Hallowe’en’s over, I suppose I’d better start thinking about Christmas nail art… O_O

Bunny Noms #2

I have so much to catch up on since I last posted!  In particular, so many bunny pics to post, thanks to my wonderful Dave purchasing me a new camera, a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. I love it! Though I’m not as snap happy as I’d like, as I’ve just started part time course in counselling and psychotherapy (on top of full time work).  Really enjoying it so far, I just wish there were more hours in the day!

Anyhoo, on to the pics…

Your offering pleases me
Mmm… green…
Ah hath uh lettuth
This is my red noms, none for you!
Nom nom nom
Done with this morsel, you may have the scraps
Now I shall groom…
…and pose

Lionhead by name, lionhead by nature ;)

Samsung Galaxy S – Froyo found! Or not.

I’m currently rocking a Samsung Galaxy S, recently proclaimed to be teh bestest smartphone in Europe!!!1 or something like that.  I’ve been having a love/hate relationship with this device; loving its sleek design, 4″ superAMOLED screen and the customisability provided by Android, but HATING Samsung’s buggy TouchWiz 3.0 software. So much so that I considered rooting the phone to get rid and to have a clean, functional, allbeit vanilla Android interface.

Issues I’ve encountered so far include:

* Touchscreen not activating from standby in a timely manner.

This has proven an issue a number of times when receiving phonecalls.  The phone will be ringing audibly and vibrating for up to 10 seconds, but the display remains black,  making it impossible to answer the call due to the lack of a physical answer key.

* Lag lag lag lag LAG

I’ve experienced a lot of lag (up to 5 seconds) when switching between programs/ functions.  This is significant given its powerful 1GHz Hummingbird processor and 512 MB RAM.  My old iPhone 3G S feels  smoother and faster with much less muscle (600 MHz processor and 256 MB RAM).  Dave’s HTC Desire does not suffer any lag, and its spec is comparable to the Galaxy S.

* Proximity sensor issues?

On a number of occasions I’ve been in the middle of a phone call, imparting witticisms and pearls of wisdom, only to hear the other person respond with “Hello? Helloooo?? HELLO???”.  Checking my phone, somehow mute has been activated, though I’ve neither moved the phone from my face, nor touched the screen.  I can’t tell if this is an issue with the proximity sensor (the touchscreen activating during a call and my face hitting mute) or just buggy software turning on mute randomly.  Annoying either way.

I recently installed an alternate launcher, Launcher Pro, which seems to have resolved these issues (while adding some extra functionality, loving it!).  Thus it appears that Samsung’s TouchWiz crapware is to blame, and not the hardware.  Now, what I really want to know, is will these issues persist when the Froyo update comes out?

Well it looks like I won’t have much longer to wait, as today in Carphone Warehouse I found a brand new o2 Samsung Galaxy S with Froyo preinstalled! Needless to say, the first thing I did upon arriving home was connect my phone to the ‘puter and fire up Kies (my gripes with that software are worth a whole other blog post) to check for my update.  But it wasn’t there.  Boo. Hiss.  Did I mention that Dave’s HTC Desire has been running Froyo since September?

Get your act together Samsung; I’m starting to wish I’d gone for the iPhone 4 or HTC Desire instead, you don’t want me telling that to potential customers.