I also took the dog on two very long walks so not only did I do Work, I worked out. I was very happy to see on both walks Obama volunteers going door to door in both the lovely historic district and the not-as lovely hysteric district as well. The folks I saw in my neighborhood were so cute, they didn't even have their blood type written on their arms or anything! I thought that was cute for outside white people to not do that. It says "Hi, black people! We don't know enough to be aware that this street is called "Little Hell" We come in peace! Are you registered to vote?
I saw them coming down one street that I haven't used since, oh, the guy with the house arrest bracelet wanted me to come up to his porch so he could visit with then baby Daisy. I made my excuses
and fled, er, walked the other way and I haven't even driven down that street again.
While I was walking I got a call from the Obama people beseeching me to come and volunteer. I always want to say Yeah. About that. I've been donating $5 a week for months to the campaign, so really, I think I've bought my way out of this by now, dontcha think?. Sadly, no it seems. They wanted me to go to a distance office but I told them if I would go, I would go to the office closest to me and because I have this tiny bladder at home waiting for me, for less time than they wanted me to and lo and behold, this was possible. I will be calling you to make sure you go vote. Be ready.
I also hit four different grocery/Walmarts/Sam's Club to see if any of them would be willing to sell me one of those plastic bubble things they sell their cakes in. The answer is No. Not one of the places was willing to do that. I even pulled out the Charity aspect of the request and they still said No. Four times. Hateful.
I ended up buying a paper box to transport the cake in, a paper box I had to put together myself! Paper folding is not a part of my skill set tool box. I persevered but just barely.
Things I learned about Layer Cakes - If you don't want the cake to "dome" in the oven, bake the cake at about fifty degrees cooler than the directions, for one and one half times the directed cooking time. This makes the cake cook slower and prevents doming. It makes for a flatter, more even cake experience. It worked too.
I also learned that if you want to use less oil in your cake and want to substitute , say, applesauce, that this is doable but you should not completely eliminate the oil because using applesauce only leads to a heavy cake. You should cut the oil in half instead. And it works!
There was also the tip about leaving the cakes in the cake pans for ten minutes post baking before putting them on the cooling racks - after the cake as cooled completely ( lets hear it for an ice cold back bedroom, those colanders slash windows useful at last!), wrap the layers separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. A cool cake is easier to decorate and work with. For real.
The next thing I learned (Thanks Be To The Internet) was prior to putting the first layer down on the surface, put a dab of frosting down to act as a glue to hold the cake in place through decorating and transportation. Really, really good idea and it worked. Then I learned to keep putting the cake back into the fridge after ever step of the decorating process, a cold cake is a happy cake.
I now also can do a "crumb coat" AKA a skim coat of frosting. You put a light coating of your frosting over the cake and then stick it in the refrigerator. This gives you a smooth ,even, crumb free base on to which you can put your final coat of neat and tidy frosting. Also, this worked. My Mom gave me the brilliant idea of instead of going out and buying a special tool for frosting (which I will never use again) , that I could substitute a butcher knife - and this also worked. I am going to have to buy it some steak now because it is totally emasculated and depressed. Tough cookies, I like the cleaver better for cutting meat.