Monday, June 26, 2006

Amazon and Cookbooks

I realized today just how hard it is to buy books online. I really like to be able to thumb through a book and look at how the book is laid out and how useful it might be. I decided to order the next book in my series on Amazon and fill up the order with something from my wish list. Easier said than done. Most of the things in my wish list are cookbooks and I had a hard time deciding which one I should try. I decided, after much waffling back and forth, that I would get Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. The decision was based on my having used the book before in the past and enjoying it very much. Since I no longer have access to the book, I thought it was an appropriate purchase. My other book was Jean Auel's The Shelters of Stone. I have the first four books but I am devouring them at a crazy pace, I really need to get a life. So this is the next book in the series. I don't know if it will be the last. I guess there can always be a sequel unless you destroy everything, think Hitchhiker's guide here.

I find that I really like cooking and I really like people enjoying what I cook. I would cook more often, but the fridge can only hold so many leftovers before exploding. I really love baking but the waistline can only take so much of that before the pants start complaining about rapid expansion. Although I could stand to make more bread on a more regular basis.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Shop 'til you drop

Two full days of shopping with my mother and I have filled my shopping quota for the next three months. I blew the budget, but then I have never tried to stick to a budget. I also was going to stores I don't normally go to so I wanted to get all my shopping out of the way. The budget also wasn't that blown considering how I will likely not be buying anything for the next month and I was saving up for this. I ended up with two more chairs for my table, bringing me up to 6. I impulse bought a few used games for the Xbox, and now it is time to save up for the 360. I picked up a dust mop to help make cleaning up after the cat easier. In the end, mostly it was stuff that I needed with just a few more frivolous things. But who could live without frivolous things. Where's the fun otherwise.

My dad fixed my windshield wiper blades. A nut had loosened then popped off and so while the motor for the blades was running, the wipers were not moving. This really came to a head on Satruday when I was coming back from Ikea with my mother and the wipers stopped and never came back on. Good thing it had just stopped raining. I also now have a curtain rod for my curtains, and he assembled my free gas grill. We moved the kayak off the garage floor in an attempt to make room for the car and I moved the Molson beer keg down to the garage. I think I might use the keg as a table or stand until I get around to putting it to proper use. It would make too much beer for me to be able to deal with though. I think I will start making 1 gallon batches from now on. In the end, lots was accomplished this weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Blue Ribbon BBQ Again

My parents arrived last night. I worked today giving them a chance to get some shopping in. So tonight was another Blue Ribbon night. And pulled chicken is still my favourite dish but the absolute best is their mashed potatoes. I don't know what they put inthem, put it is very addictive and they are sooo good. To die for. I think most of it has to do with the pototoes. They use red potatoes, leaving the skins on some, with some butter and milk. Mmmm, downright heavenly.

As there is no guest bedroom, I slept out on the futon. It isn't that bad but there are new noises, and different light sources to block out that I just had a bad night's sleep. I can't wait to get my bed back. Tomorrow looks like another full day of shopping. Hopefully I can get everything on my list. On a good note, my mother felt that the apartment was clean. Cleaner than my last few apartment's had been kept. It's not like I don't clean but I have a long-haired cat that leaves dust bunnies behind him when he moves. The first place had wall to wall carpeting, and the last place had too much furniture and something seriously wrong with the bathroom. This place is easy to clean, and I think that keeping the furniture to a minimum is very helpful.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Blue Ribbon BBQ

If you are going to try being vegetarian just 'cuz, the best way to blow it is to go to your favourite restaurant and order pulled chicken. My parents will be arriving soon and I needed to get some groceries, which meant passing near Blue Ribbon BBQ, so picking up some take out was too tempting. Also, my parents will want to go so I would be eating there eventually. Since I have no ethical reasons to not eat meat, I decided to not hold myself back. So I got my absolutely favourite dish and chowed down. I was in seventh heaven. Cooking vegetarian really wasn't that much different from cooking meat except for having to not take into account thawing time on meat. Since I don't normally eat slabs of meat I didn't miss that aspect, but I did miss having small amounts of meat in curries and stirfries. I also refuse to use tofu as a meat substitute because that is just like saying, "I want meat so I will eat this substitute to try to trick myself into thinking I am eating meat while actually I am not". I may not have given it enough of a chance, but I felt that I didn't feel any different, and I found I was actually overeating. While there are some very good ethnic cuisines available, I really do like meat. I don't think I will suddenly start eating meat at every meal, but I think I will work it back into the diet in smaller amounts rather than as slabs of meat. Shredded chicken makes a great addition to stirfries without having to use tons of meat. I think in the end, I could eat vegetarian but I have no inclination to go out of my way to do it.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cleaning day

Today was a cleaning day. The cat somehow manages to track his litter all over the apartment. I am sure we are helping too when it sticks to our feet. So everything had to be swept. I am stick sick but it seems to be breaking up some. It is also another hot and humid day. I called home to wish dad a happy Father's day and had a hard time getting through. At first I though my brother was on the phone, but after an hour and a half I assumed my mother was talking to a friend. Turns out the phone was accidentally left on hold and was tying up the line. My brother had finally given up and sent an email.

My parents are visiting next weekend. I will be relegated to the futon for the next few days. I am sure the cat will be happy to have company during the night. He has been locked out of my bedroom for the last while due to allergies and the hot weather. He seems to have no energy either. I really need to find some time to bring him into to get shaved. I think he will be much happier with a shorter fur coat.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Sick and hot

So the weather has been quite nice the last few days, but today it is heat wave hot. I have been laid up on the futon reading with the fan on full trying to stay cool. I really have no energy and no motivation to do anything. I got an invite to a pool party but there was no motivation to go so I let a body a rest stay at rest. I started reading Jean Auel's Earth Children series. I an blowing through them quite fast and might have to thing about getting the newest book in the series sooner rather than later as I will likely be finished the other books by then. I'm going to lay down and keep reading and blowing my nose.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Not Allergies

Okay, so I am sick. I was likely having allergy problems yesterday, but today my sore throat has fully developed into a hacking cough and runny nose. I ended up having to leave work early as I was incapable of doing anything. I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Aaaaaa, I ran out of allergy medicine a few days ago and now I am all runny nosed, and itchy eyed. On top of that, my throat is sore from clearing it all the time. I ran over to the pharmacy and picked up a three month supply. Hopefully I won't let myself run out again. I ended up taking two pills, about three hours apart, then a decongestant just so I could breathe easily enough to fall asleep. Alas, I have not been sleeping very well lately. I don't expect to sleep well tonight either. Oh well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Patello Femoral what?

I had some x-rays taken of my left knee. Only the left because it was assumed that since it was the worse knee it would be at most representative of my right knee. I recently received a letter from the doctor who ordered the x-rays saying I have normal knees, no arthitis formation or bone fragments. Basically, nothing on the x-rays to expain the pain. So at least if there was any damage it was nothing in the bones. I followed through with an orthopedic exam today. The doctor proceeded to squeeze the hell out of my knees and ask if it hurt. Of course it hurts, you're squeezing really hard right on the bones. When I mentioned squating and kneeling hurts, he asked that I squat down to see, and yup, squatting still hurts. He gave me a diagnosis of Patello Femoral Syndrome, which basically is like saying there is something wrong with your knee, but we don't know what it is so we are lumping you in this catagory with everyone else who has non-specific knee pain. Anyway, I will be giving physical therapy a try and see if that helps.

On a good note, I went to a trade show hosted by one of our in lab vendors. There was a raffle that I participated in and I won a gas grill. I am not sure haw it works as I have not opened the box but it looks like a small BBQ without the brickets. And, nicely enough, it came with two little bottles of gas. Not sure when I will have a chance to give it a try, but since the weather just turned hot again maybe soon. I may have to break from trying to be vegetarian for a month, but this is for a good cause. Or, more likely what will happen is I will procrastinate on using it and eventually I will be outside of that one month time. I don't seem to miss meat as I am not dreaming of eating it, but I was dreaming of eating chocolate recently. Hmmm, maybe my body is trying to tell me something.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Trying vegetarian fare

So I thought I would give the vegetarian lifestyle a little trial. I have heard it is good for you and I wanted to see how much I would miss meat. I decided eggs and milk are still going to be in my diet. I will be trying this for a month, after that I will see how I feel. At this point, I am thinking chicken will definitely be making a comeback. So at this point I have been trying this for a week and while the vegetarian curry I made was very good, it wousd have been better with chicken. So I guess I am missing chicken. I also ended up with enough curry to last me almost two weeks. If I don't get tired of vegetarian fare, I might get sick of eating curry. I did go all out, I made some brown rice in the oven, which turned out better than all the other times I have made this brown rice. In the past, it has been undercooked, this time it was mostly cooked with the top layer slightly undercooked and the bottom layer slightly overcooked. I made some chana dahl glop, it is good and the dahl did break down like they should have but there is no better way of describing the resulting mess other than glop. I also made a nice chickpea and vegetable vindaloo, which might have been better if I hadn't used so many chickpeas. Basically, it is chickpeas with a few extras. If there is ever a next time, I will be using half as many chickpeas. Those things are small when dry but expand upon soaking and cooking. I also tried making poori, which may or may not have turned out. I have actually never had poori before and the bread like things I made where good and go well with the meal but I am not sure if they are authentic.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Hair cut time?

I have been leaning heavily on the side of finally cutting my hair and leaving it that way. The feeling has been around for a little while and I am sure this is not just a passing thought. I have been getting annoyed more often with my long hair. Mostly it started on the trail and has been with me ever since. It is in the way more often, the braid gets under my pack or falls into my face, and it is a bother to take care of. The problem is that I have never really been satisfied with shorter hair styles as they almost always require hair gel or a hair dryer, neither or which I own or are interested in owning. So in the end I simply grow out the hair style until I am left with long hair once again. If I can't just brush out my hair and go then it is not a good style. I require simple, no maintanance, and out of my face. I think I need to break this cycle and settle into a hair style. I feel like I have grown out of my desire to have long hair. I think the next time I am home I will look around at my options.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's getting hot Hot HOT!!!

It was crazy hot today. Or at least it was when I left work today. I left early as I did end up working quite late yesterday. So I managed to get the last of the car stuff done, I just have to fax in the paper work first thing tomorrow. I also, finally got the correct replacement mirror yesterday and installed that right away. It was both easy and hard. Hard in that I could not pull the inner door panel off, but easy once I accepted the limited space and worked around it.

Looks like the heat is bearking with some thunder and lightening. I have most of the windows in the apartment open right now which means a mad dash around it to close all the wind facing windows if the diluge follows. I think the poor cat is also really hot. I have not had a chance to get him shaved yet. I will have to call around to see if I can locate a place that is reasonably priced and nearby.

Tomorrow I have to get up bright and early to run over to the doctors office before work. I went to see the doctor awhile ago about my knees and they wanted some x-rays taken. And I have not made it over to get them done, so tomorrow I head over. I also did something to the roof of my mouth and it hurts. It has been hurting for the past few days and I suspect that it may be infected. I think I something I ate jabbed me hard in the roof of my mouth and punctured the skin. I found my small hiking mirror, which I never actually used, ever, and that fit in mouth well enough for me to see that my mouth is not doing well. I will try to get someone to see that too while I am over at the medical center. It is actually hard to eat and I never realized how often I have to press my tongue against the roof of my mouth until it hurt. It seems you have to press your tongue to the roof of your mouth to swallow, or at least I do. I was waiting for it to get better on its own but I guess I will have to be a little more pro-active. I really am quite lazy at heart.