Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog Post 7

It's harder to do this regularly than you would think.

Discovered that not only are we feeding a couple outside cats but a raccoon as well. I don't know who was more surprised when I came outside. The cat food comes in after dark unless I am watching one of the cats eat because I don't want to encourage the bad behavior by the raccoon or make him an easy traget for someone that wants to do him harm.

Michelle and I have started cooking our new slow cooker. The first thing we discovered is that while tasty the slow cooker recipes from America's Test Kitchen are not quick to set up. Both the soup and stew we made had prep times of over an hour. We're going to keep working on it.

Managed to blow away a good portion of my digitalized music last week. I don't think I lost anything I purchased but it's still annoying.

Get to head up to Seattle in less that a week. yah.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog Post 6

Walked for 3.4 miles at lunch today and I am hoping to do a couple of more after work.

Finished up a class on pattern making for soft home furnishings at Sew L.A. last night. I almost finished a dust cover for my rice cooker. We were supposed to make covers for our sewing machines but Michelle was doing that and I don't have a stand mixer. I made some mistakes in my pattern; one piece was longer than the other.  And I it took me three tries to sew a curve and I have problems remembering to put the presser foot down. Time to start practicing.

Took Meeko to the vet this morning which she hates. We have to keep giving her ear drops and she is putting on weight which are both good things. The worst part is that we have to keep giving her lysine and she she won't eat it mixed into wet food. I'll have to try it in peanut butter because I hate pinning her down and shoving it into her mouth.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Post 5

I have been reading the fascinating book Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages. The goal of the book is to teach you how to make quality cured meats at home in a safe manner, which is pretty obvious from the title. The best part of the book isn't the recipes but all the food science inside. Teaching why things are done a certain way and how to adjust existing recipes and come up with your own.  The only thing that makes me sad is that because I live in Southern California there are certain things that I won't be able to do, like cold smoking meat because it never stays below 70F for along enough time. And I just can't imagine hauling 25 plus pounds of meat to Seattle in the winter time to smoke it there.

My mother in the hospital again and I don't know why. There was some ugliness between us a while back and right now every time I talk to her it puts me in a very bad space and she doesn't understand this. She doesn't even understand how stressful interacting with her is for me. All that happens is that she gets her feelings hurt and I feel bad for making her feel bad. Ugh.

There are only two things that would have made Cee Lo Green's grammy performance better. The first is if his backing band would have been Doctor Teeth and the Electric Mayhem instead of a generic muppet band and if she would have left the lyrics alone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blog Post 4

Found out that a friend's wife is having her kidney removed this week. There was a benign tumor on it that was discovered after a traffic accident. The tumor started hemorrhaging after the accident and the docs sand it has to come out. She has good surgeon and is at a good hospital. I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything turns out okay.

Michelle has been working on getting a new roof  or our current roof repaired. Our current roof have been flying off in high winds. This seems to have been caused by the use of staples instead of nails and that for some reason the singles never bonded together. This could have been caused by a thin plastic strip not being removed from the shingles or the roof was installed when the weather was too cold. I lean toward former.

I am also having to keep an eye on one of the toilets because it might be leaking around the base. I found water around it the other day. After the initial cleanup nothing no more water has appeared. It does look like someone put silicone caulk around the base and that worries me. I hate doing plumbing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog Post 3

The sewing class last night was good. Spent the evening making a pattern for a dust cover for my rice cooker. Not the most exciting object to make a dust cover for but they wouldn't let me bring my couch to class. It was fascinating to see how the pattern comes together but I really want to move the pattern to a computer and print it out on a plotter. It's too bad a plotter of the size I need is about $2000. Makes me wonder if I can just print it out on normal paper and tape it together.

Starting to think about making bacon for the annual gathering of the gamers. It is going to take a couple of weeks of lead time before I can even smoke the pig belly. I have to get a couple of things before I can even get started.  I have been working hard on cutting down  my electric bill but damn do I want another fridge so that I can hang meat and rise bread in it. Saw a set up today for a temperature and humidity controlled fridge. Something to think about.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Blog Post 2

Tried out nordic walking for the first time today. It's cross country skiing with out the skis. You hold a pole in each hand and swing them up until the tip hips the ground. I am doing a bad job of describing it but it burns about 40% more calories than plain walking and doesn't take any more noticeable effort than walking. the key word is noticeable. I walked for about 1.7 miles with the poles and my arms are going to be sore tomorrow. I am using some poles that I made out of broomsticks and cane tips right now but If things keep going as they are I will probably switch to real poles eventually.

Going to a pattern making for soft home furnishings tonight at Sew-LA with Michelle. The goal of the class is to make a cover for your sewing machine but since Michelle is planning on doing that I might make a slip cover for a dinning room chair or the rice cooker. It does make me think that I should make pads to go between the non-stick pots and pans.

Starting to plan out dry cure bacon. The last time was a wet cure and Bevan and I ended up over smoking it. It's tasty but only good for flavoring.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

You have to start someplace.

I have been listing to the All Songs Considered podcast this morning, probably the most eclectic of the music podcasts I follow. So far I this morning have listened to a show of nothing but electronic music and a couple of surf/punk concerts; last week it was a bollywood dance band. In the past they have played concerts by Weird Al Yankovic, Richard Thompson, Los Lobos and tons of other artists I have never heard of. I haven't liked everything I have heard but my ears have been opened to so many more things that there is no way that I can listen to all the new things that I like.

New things are generally good. It doesn't matter if the things are food, music, friends, movies or experiences. I am not saying go out and shoot herion or get whipped in public if these things are bad for you. But if someone asks you if you want to eat a chicken foot or you should listen to this new band, giving it a try can't hurt you much and something good might come out of it.