Are you here for the jam, or the programming lesson?
February 9, 2006 8:27 AM   Subscribe

This little old lady is kind enough to teach us how to make delicious deserts and canned goods, while her husband instructs us in the intricacies of caring for wild birds. Don't you just love these simple, old fashioned folks? By the way, their web site gets 78,000 hits a month, they're world travelers and they're more tech savvy than I ever hope to be.
posted by leapingsheep (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
When I offered my grandma a computer she said she wouldn't want that thing taking up space in her house. She makes fantastic dill pickles, though.
posted by leapingsheep at 8:31 AM on February 9, 2006

Well, now I know who I want to be when I grow up.
posted by schroedinger at 8:33 AM on February 9, 2006

Which one?
posted by OmieWise at 8:35 AM on February 9, 2006

Indeed - I was thinking the same thing as schroedinger. I suspect this will be more and more common as we geeks age.

Assuming it still exists (and I hope it does) can you imagine what MeFi will be like in a few decades?
posted by aladfar at 8:36 AM on February 9, 2006

Both of them, at the same time. The Uber-Elderly, if you will. Excuse me, I'm off to fight in Korea and distribute canned jams to the villagers there!
posted by schroedinger at 8:38 AM on February 9, 2006

and yet their site design takes a page out of Timecube's book.
posted by shmegegge at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2006

I'd like to be both too. Yumm, canned birds.

(Just kidding, they're pretty awesome. I love the guy's bio: "I'm in good health, married, with two sons..."
posted by OmieWise at 8:44 AM on February 9, 2006

Weird. I was just browsing that site not 10 minutes ago looking for garbonzo bean canning cooking times and was also impressed.
posted by stbalbach at 8:48 AM on February 9, 2006

Oh God. She makes those custard... things... that my Gram used to serve whenever we visited and had dinner. Ugh. Ugh Ugh UGH. I have trauma from those.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:53 AM on February 9, 2006

Just to be nitpicky - 78K hits a month isn't much; my Sun-related website gets 1.2 million hits/month and my personal weblog gets 130K/month. Unique visitors is what matters when looking at web stats.

In any case, they've got a cool site.
posted by mrbill at 9:05 AM on February 9, 2006

Very neat couple, I bookmarked their page for future reference. I really want to get into canning vegetables one day. Great post.
posted by glycolized at 9:08 AM on February 9, 2006

Look at the first link again, and compare the photo to its caption. "We Make Some Custard." Is she referring to herself and the bananas?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:16 AM on February 9, 2006

...deserts and canned goods

As fantastic as their recipes are and as cool as they are, I'm quite sure that Ms. Noll is not making deserts.....
posted by Lynsey at 9:20 AM on February 9, 2006

don't knock it. scub brush and sand can be quite tasty...
posted by pmbuko at 9:24 AM on February 9, 2006

I think I love them. And I love that they're from Oregon, too. I kind of want them to be my grandparents. Don't tell my real grandparents, please.
posted by redsparkler at 9:27 AM on February 9, 2006

I see this as a nice reminder of what the Internet can really be about; two people *very* much not peers of most of us on this board, able to share all of this knowledge they have with us -- and us able to find it and, perhaps, use it.

As for the small snark above about the site design, I actually want to give them props*: their site loads quickly, is well thought out, and it's very easy to find things. They even have a two-tiered content structure, clear instructions on every page (mostly) above the fold, and site search. The titles and images are both linked, and the titles have contextual color hinting. They even skipped the obligatory "big logo in the upper left, click me to go back to the home page" in favor of a link at the bottom and trusting users to use their back buttons. It may not be pretty (and save me from the grid paper background on the secondary pages) but it's very useable.

Besides, I always wanted to learn how to can stuff. Seriously. This link is great.

*I'm an experienced IA/UED coder at a huge web services provider, and you'd be surprised how successful this site design is from a usability perspective compared to most of the sites that run across my desk.
posted by davejay at 9:33 AM on February 9, 2006

These people I strongly suspect are younger than my parents. I feel old now. Thank you.

I'm gonna make me some peach cobbler now. Thank you Mrs. Noll.
posted by Goofyy at 9:36 AM on February 9, 2006

Outstanding! These folks would make fantastic grandparents:

"Hey Grampa! I just saw my first pochard last weekend! We were out at the lake, tons of greenwing teals, moorhens, a few mallards, coots and gadwalls, when all of a sudden a pochard came out of the rushes! Bright red head and all! That's my 153rd species, so far!

Thanks a lot for helping me out on my term paper on Chou En Lai. By the way, Dad wants to know if could you come over to help us set up our new satellite dish?

I also have a friend who's going to Thailand this summer and she'd like to talk to Gramma about what to expect.

Oh, and could you please ask Gramma is she could make some more of those scones? Those were AWESOME!"

Mind you, I had wonderful grandparents, too. But the Nolls look like a great couple.
posted by darkstar at 9:37 AM on February 9, 2006

Unlike redsparkler, I have an opening for grandparents. Please, may I have them?
posted by rosemere at 9:39 AM on February 9, 2006

I hear they fight crime too!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:14 AM on February 9, 2006

Did you check out the older son's site? Wow, wooden butterflies - all the colors coming from the natural wood color, and....harpsichords! They did a good job with this kid, I think. Talk about marching to your own drummer. What a cool way to make a living. I too love this couple.
posted by ubi at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2006

According to the site, 78k hits is the daily average this month, not the total...
posted by phrenq at 10:32 AM on February 9, 2006

I wish I had grandparents like this.
Corrected URL for the son's site.
posted by boo_radley at 10:41 AM on February 9, 2006

Yumm, canned birds.

Oh, the possibilties.

And while I'll keep my department store loving, people mocking grandmother, these folks seem exceedingly cool.
posted by youcancallmeal at 10:59 AM on February 9, 2006

I suspect this will be more and more common as we geeks age.

Robert X. Cringely wrote about this a while back. The article has a focus on Open Source software, but I'm sure there will be more web pages like the Noll's in the future, I can't wait to them!
posted by jpf at 11:02 AM on February 9, 2006

s/wait to them/wait to see them/

posted by jpf at 11:06 AM on February 9, 2006

Ugh, I'm such a moron. Thanks boo_radley.
posted by ubi at 11:33 AM on February 9, 2006

Daily Hit Average this Month -- 78,816
posted by crunchland at 12:16 PM on February 9, 2006

"Just to be nitpicky"


I like seeing web sites by folks like this... They aren't THAT much older than I am (the few years between my age and theirs will go WAY too fast!).. It gives me hope....

I say we tar and feather anyone who wants to get snarky about 'em!
posted by HuronBob at 1:56 PM on February 9, 2006

I am a big fan of clunky, rough-hewn personal websites like this. Give me an unpretentious website that looks like it could've been done in 1994, over slick, CSS-heavy blogs with sleek typefaces and some clever title and sidebars that say "What I'm reading" ... "What I'm listening to," anyday.
posted by jayder at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2006

I think I should be allowed to claim them as grandparents. My maternal grandparents both died before I was born, and my paternal grandparents lived in another country and didn't speak English so while I met them a couple of times when I was young, I never had a conversation with them before they died.

I feel that my thus far grandparent free existence qualifies me as the recipient of this exciting new grandparent opportunity. Plus, they're totally cool and I want to take them home.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:48 PM on February 9, 2006

I love my grandparents.

When my granddad moved into a retirement village the first thing he did was sit down and write a retirement village management database for the administration to use.

He fought the local teleco to get broadband installed, then organised the infrastructure so that it could be routed to all the rooms in the hostel.

They just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. I'm going to go see them on saturday. :)
posted by Jerub at 3:40 PM on February 9, 2006

That's pretty cute man.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:41 PM on February 9, 2006

No nit too small to pick:
Is that a Pyrex baking dish, or a Corning Ware pan in the pineapple upside down cake recipe?
Golly, gma, save yourself a step. You can melt all that margarine right in that pan on your glass-top range. Can't do that with Pyrex. You need a microwave for that.
posted by Cranberry at 4:10 PM on February 9, 2006

Oprah should skip the next decor impaired, comparatively rich housewife and re-do this couple's kitchen instead.
posted by onegreeneye at 9:30 PM on February 9, 2006

Can I share them with everyone else who lacks grandparents? Please? I'll bring pie.
posted by cmyk at 10:47 PM on February 9, 2006

When I go down to see Grandma,
I gain a lot a weight.
With her dear hands,
she gives me plate after plate.

She cans the pickles, sweet and dill,
And the songs of the whip-or-will,
And the morning dew and the evening moon,
I really gotta go down and see her soon.

'Cause the canned goods that I buy at the store
Ain't got the summer in 'em anymore.
You bet, Grandma, as sure as you're born,
I'll take some more potatoes and a thunderstorm.

Taste a little of the summer,
Grandma put it all in jars.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:34 PM on February 9, 2006

Thanks for that, Astro Zombie.
posted by Goofyy at 12:45 AM on February 10, 2006

Greg Brown.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:51 AM on February 10, 2006

Can I share them with everyone else who lacks grandparents? Please? I'll bring pie.
posted by cmyk

Well, my grandparents are all passed away now (r.i.p.) , so I'll share!

I'm pretty good at helping with yardwork, dig scones and can sit and listen to stories about birds and Korea like nobody's business!

Hmm...maybe they could become honorary grandparents to the Internet...
posted by darkstar at 8:06 AM on February 10, 2006

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