Monthly Archives: July 2005

July 2005 Books

I had a bit of a binge this month!

49. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling
50. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
51. Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
52. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
53. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling
54. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by JK Rowling

And no, I didn’t have to mug any children. I borrowed the whole bunch from Gabulo and gave the first few a good re-read.


shout out to gabulon, I got my hairs cut wednesday on my way home from work (I stopped in to supercuts, I just couldn’t take the sheer mass of hair on my head anymore!) and the next day (and today too) NO BUNNY has said anything about my hairs being cut.

it’s especially weird, b/c even though I personally am terrible at noticing this kind of change in a person I just came from a lovely grad school where I was asked if my hair was cut if I had just put it back in a head band!

I went from this:
me 070805 - 1 me 071305

to this:
me 072705 newhaircut

(which is understandably crazy looking b/c it was humid/raining/hot, and she didn’t blow dry it but DID put some “styling foam” in. I love the way it looks in the first photo though! I’m wearing a hairband [because the front is NUTS!] so it’s a little shorter looking than it is, but the back looks FUN. The first one, on the other hand… I’m STILL having problems with my non-bangs.)

CSA Wk 7


Tomatoes! corn, yellow squash, eggplant, cukes, zuchinni, biscayne peppers (I think, based on the Kretchmann’s shares), a green pepper, and beans.

what’s left:
Wk 4: purple cabbage, and dill.
Wk 5: Non-spicy peppers, a cucumber, a zuchinni, beets, potatoes, lemon balm or lemon mint (?), and oregano.
Wk 6: non-spicy peppers (these all have to be biscayne, I think!), green pepper, jalapeno peppers, bag of beans, oregano, cucumber, zuchinni, eggplants.

Last week I used some of the biscayne peppers and swiss chard in one of those yummy layered quesedillas. and only last night I mashed up the basil from Wk 6 into pesto. I ate the corn from last week raw, which was super, except for the couple of ears that I left at work all weekend accidentally and couldn’t eat.

Tonight I’m going to use up my old eggplants for thai green curry (because I actually have curry paste now, yay!) and will toss in zuchinni, beans, and biscayne peppers. Someone gave me an idea for stuffed biscayne peppers (a chili rellano, really) with corn, which sounds awesome! and I am kind of craving fried yellow squash. The zuchinni I need to make breads with, I made a really tasty one with dark chocolate chips and whole wheat flour last year in Pittsburgh. and the tomatoes, well, I chopped a bunch to toss with my pesto noodles today at lunch, and ate one last night. SO GOOD. fresh tomatoes? are amazing.

So I’ll stop by the store tonight to pick up necessities like whole wheat flour, avocados, chocolate chips, cinnamon, eggs, milk, brown sugar, and other sundries like fresh limes.

and GOSH, but at 11AM on a day you didn’t eat breakfast is NOT the best time to post about food plans. AM SO HUNGRY. BUT, I did throw a lot of extra veggies into my lunch bag: like a big cucumber, a green pepper, some corn… I’m going to have to start munching.


so actually owning a biodiesel vehicle has reinstalled in me my LOVE for the biodiesel technology. I’ve been surfing blogs and communitites for the last several days and reading up on all the great new stuff that’s been developed since I started poking around the technology. Like the cool appleseed processors, both cleverly designed and cleverly named.

All this punk rock grass roots biodiesel development stuff is really reminding me of my desire to make my own fuel. Seriously. It wouldn’t be that crazy to start doing it, and dan aaron says his buddy (who owns a bar) will give me his fry oil. I just need a little patch of land to put a reactor and wash tank on. And I KNOW my brother would be totally into it. I bought the biodiesel homebrew guide today and once it comes I will absolutely be setting aside Harry Potter to learn all I can.

Last night while I was DRIVING somewhere (ahem, NEW JERSERY) I started thinking about the possibility of the hybrid civic not having a manual transmission. If that happens, y’all, here are my options:

1. buy a used insight, forgo the tax credit from the federal government, boycott the attempts of car manufacturers to not do their best, to produce cars that aren’t as efficient and as fun to drive as I now they could (besides, if I need a back seat I’ve got the NEW CAMPER VAN, right? so having a very small 2-seater won’t be a bad thing. It will actually be very funny to have a Very Big Car and a Very Small Car). or,

2. Buy a used late-model diesel car, and run it on B100. That would rule. Seriously. And I don’t need a new car, I find the concept to be kind of scary. What if I break it? And having to pay a car loan and full insurance coverage premiums, now, that’s something I could REALLY do without.


Would you like a tour of my new camper van?

YAY VAN! me 072305

(please note the NRA sticker. heh. I’ll be adding a NWA sticker to keep it company.)

The awning is in beautiful condition!
and an awning!

here’s the drivers area, check the CB radio and original 1983 radio with tape deck. V. Nice. Also, these seats fully swivel around to face the back or each other.
front seats

looking forward from the rear:
front of van from rear

the couch dan aaron is sitting on has seat belts and folds out to a bed. The bunk area above the drivers seats slides out to be a full bed also, like so:

upper bunk and drivers area

here’s the rear of the van:
rear of fan from front
you can see the sink, stove, and refrigerator (below stove). I’ve got the back doors open. You can’t see the cutsie spice rack, but there’s one of those too! The water pump and the fridge run on a battery under the counter which is charged by pluging into an outlet, and perhaps from the car bettery when it’s running. Maybe not though. If I get serious about this stuff I’ll buy photovoltaics and an inverter for that battery and to run the appliances. there’s a propane tank under the van and it’s about 5/8 full. sweet. Also, a furnace for winter camping!

To the right of that is the terlit:

It’s all winterized right now (there’s antifreeze in the pipes) and I’m not sure that I want to unwinterize it, because this way I won’t have to rewinterize it later. Plus, I’m not sure I’m into dumping holding tanks. yuck.

all that, and she’s the same size as a conversion van! which I learned to drive on! This is so great.

Immediate work to have done on van:

1. fix the brakes (they’re waaaay gone, I had to leave a LOT of room to stop)
2. change the oil (it’s been 2 years)
3. add transmission fluid
4. change the fuel filter
5. inspect the van, but I’m a little worried that
6. the non-working reverse lights might cause a problem.

Something else that is totally funny is 7. the speedometer doesn’t work — my car speedometer doesn’t work either. Le sigh.

NON-immediate stuff includes:
1. solar panels for the lights/fridge/water pump so I don’t have to charge the battery with the really long electrical plug
2a. a grey water recycling system, wherein water from the sink is used to run through the toilet. this would require 2 holding tanks and a new pump but would be more efficient and would reduce toilet use. Because I have to buy a holding tank regardless, I might as well make it a cool recycling water situation.
2b. replace current water flush toilet with a composting model or a foaming super low flow toilet, thereby removing the whole “nasty holding tank” situation entirely!
3. I need a little trailer to put my biodiesel stuff on. also, I need a place to park the trailer full of biodiesel junk, and while I’m at it a place to park the camper van. that isn’t behind my folks house in a field full of mice.

But: YAY!

honda civic nerves

after I received a comment from a fellow honda civic hybrid list-waiter and manual-transmission lover saying she’d heard from another albany honda location that they would ONLY offer CVT (BOO), well, I got nervous!

I called the honda dealership near me in NJ and the guy said he didn’t know, but expected it would be the same as the current civic (both transmissions available). He also said that they have started production (YAY) and expected shipment in September or October (PHEW!).

So I put in a call to my salesguy in Albany (different dealership than Karen’s) and hopefully he’ll have some scoop for me. The last time I called he did say that he didn’t know any more than I do. le sigh.

In other car-type news, the Union of Concerned Scientists, has put out a list of hybrid and alt-fuel incentives by state.

AND totally wait for my next post, all about my NEW DIESEL CAR! and my REDISCOVERED LOVE OF BIODIESEL! and my EMAIL to the GOVERNOR OF NY!

CSA wk 6

csa wk 6

poorly pictured are non-spicy peppers, green pepper, jalapeno peppers, bag of beans, oregano, basil, mint, cucumber, zuchinni, corn, eggplants, and NOT a CSA tomato.

Also, check these out:
csa wk 6 flowers
Beautiful flowers!
Unfortunately they got a titch bit wilty when I went grocery shopping on the way home. le sigh. but they are so pretty!

what’s left:
Wk 3: radishes
Wk 4: purple cabbage, and dill.
Wk 5: Non-spicy peppers, a cucumber, a zuchinni, swiss chard, beets, potatoes, lemon balm or lemon mint (?), and oregano.

I still need to get matt’s mom’s recipe for cabbage salad. The corn I started bringing to work to eat raw, so I’ll do that with this week’s corn too. I mean to use all non-spicy peppers in some kind of stir fry with chard, or to do a chili rellano dish. And spices? heck, gotta start using!

This week my big need is to use up chard and zucchini. probably will start making zuchinni bread, b/c it’s so very good. I should freeze some of the mint so I can have mojito’s all summer long. and the oregano would go very nicely in some kind of italian food, I bet…

Not a lot of BIG COOKING items left, but there’s a few to get through!

I DID THROW SOMETHING AWAY. my first toss. It was a bag of mustard greens. It hurt me more than it hurt them, particularly as they had begun disolving into goo. I’m doing awfully well, so I won’t beat myself up about it.

green curry

I made a green curry last night.

This is the recipe one of my sweet internet friends sent me:
1 can coconut milk
curry paste to taste (oooooohyum)
4 tablespoons veggie stock
1 tablespoon fish sauce (or soy sauce, or veggie fish sauce, if you can find it)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
basil (to taste)

mix coconut milk, curry paste, stock, fish/soy sauce, brown sugar and basil (to taste) and bring to a boil. reduce heat and toss in veggies. simmer. eat. enjoy. good.

On the way home I tried to get curry paste and fish sauce — but I didn’t have time to go to whole paycheck, and I couldn’t find the paste at the regular grocery. so I fudged the curry part. I checked with the Joy of Cooking for a general idea (which included things like grated lime zest, chopped fresh cilantro, garlic, shallots, hot green chile, ginger, black pepper, salt, cumin, and cardamom) and ended up making a “curry paste” that included: cumin, curry powder, 1/2 of a jalapeno, a clove of garlic, pepper, spicy habenaro pepper stuff, cilantro, and lemon juice.

The rest of the recipe, well, I had to fudge it too! Ididn’t have fish paste so used a dash of soy sauce, and used white sugar instead of brown sugar. I used the whole stalk of purple/thai basil. And THIS divine dish is the result:

Thai Green Curry with Thai Eggplant

It is tasty!
it’s a little spicy, and strongly flavored with jalapeno, but still, yum.
I did salt the eggplant, too, b/c I’m scared of bitter eggplants. but I rinsed them off rather than squeezed with a towel. You know. I do what I can.

While I’m posting photos, here’s a pic. of the tasty bok choi saute I mentioned before:
Bok Choi sautee with Nutritional Yeast

weekend of daniels

friday I met linda and matt and we all drove up to albany for the 3D birthday spectacular. Dad’s bday is 7/11, daniel’s is 7/16, and dan aaron’s is 8/29 but because usually people are wrapping up the summer then we have a preemptive celebration all at once.

linda and kari. selfphoto 071505

Sat. we went to a Union Picnic at the Great Escape, it only cost $12 to get in, and we had picnic lunch and free soda all over the park! Amazing. it would have been reasonable at twice the price, really. We had a GREAT time, daniel didn’t puke on any rides either, and apparently LOVES rides. he turned 6 and we thought he would be too short to ride things, but apparently he’s roughly 50 inches tall could get on anything he wanted to. He only wanted to ride with Matt (his best friend in the world) though, so that was safe, at least.

my guys

sweet linda from texas had a good time too, yay! I love adopting/being adopted by people who love family time.

dan aaron, linda, and kari on line for bumpercars

I took a lot of pictures of the condor, because it’s so cool looking with lights and molded plastic. it’s not the funnest ride, but it looks awesome.
my love affair with the condor begins

on the ride home daniel totally crashed out.
sleepy ride home.
he had a melt-down when we got home, he was TOO TIRED to go to bed, and cried and cried and cried. But all in all, he had a GREAT time at the park, and esp. at splashwater kingdom. And ESPECIALLY playing with Matt, who as I mentioned, he LOVES.

he was so tired he didn’t wake me up until 8AM the next morning (phew!)
daniel wakes me up in the AM

Sunday we went to see sarah’s new house (beautiful! not too small!) and went swimming in her lake. then home for yummy birthday lunch (as displayed by matt and daniel)
matt and his incredibly colorful plate of food

and birthday party
yay! cake!

we figured out the daniels during dinner, it goes like this:

Daniel Claudius – my great grampa, and can you get much more eastern tennesee appalachia then Claudius?
DC Jr (on birth certificate, so we all assume it is also Daniel Claudius) – my grampa
Daniel Eugene – my dad
Daniel Aaron – my bro
Daniel James – my nephew.

dan aaron got 3(!) pairs of size 15 flip flops, so if there’s a shortage it’s b/c they’re all at his house. Plus, mom came over so the party was absolutely complete! yay!

everyone had a great time, and ryan is cuter than ever
ryan and kevin and a hat

drove off at 4:30 after I was plied with a box of my dad’s old cameras (like, some OLD cameras, I may inventory later in the week), a cast iron dutch oven from my great grampa’s chicken farm, and fresh mint from maggie’s window box. yum. more mojitos at my house! we got linda home around 8:30 and matt dropped me off by 9:15 – not late at all, considering we stopped a couple of times off the mountain (including once to cuz. john’s folk’s house to pick up a microwave) and went to nj via queens via nj. note to self: trips to and from queens are fastest on sunday evening, apparently.

What a great weekend. I’m super tired, but had a wonderful time. There are more photos here and here (courtesy linda)

CSA Week 5

Week 5

Wow, there was quite a haul this week.

The share includes:
Corn, non-spicy peppers, a cucumber, a zuchinni, baby bok choi, swiss chard, beets, potatoes, a GIANT bunch of basil, lemon balm or lemon mint (?), oregano, and thai eggplants

and what a giant bunch of basil!
me 071305

So for dinner I had a coworker over and we enjoyed chard (wk 3) sauteed/wilted with garlicy olive oil, cheese tortellini with pesto, and corn. SO GOOD.

And here’s my update on the weeks:

    Veggies remaining:

Wk 3: radishes
Wk 4: purple cabbage, little thai eggplants, dill, and baby bok choi. Oh, and a sneaky head of lettuce that was in my crisper drawer and that I totally forgot about! I was patting myself on the back for finishing all the lettuce in my lunch today, and then I opened the crisper drawer and my jaw dropped. I actually said (to myself, because I live alone) “Oh, HECK!.” I was so surprised.

    what I did:

I used the dill, thyme, and potatoes to roast with garlic, which turned out marvelously. I used a tad too much oil, but roasting whole unpeeled cloves of garlic with potatoes is my favorite trick. Just squeeze the roasted garlic out when you’re eating the potatoes! so good!

I made the roasted pine nut/parm cheese pasta with the arugua and radish greens, and this time I used whole wheat pasta, which matt still deemed hearty, but I think it was more eatable than the spelt for him. (dude’s not as used to whole grains as I am, I guess…)

The mint, now, I mentioned the mojitos. Yum.

As for

    what’s left:

Tonight I’m going to do a big saute with butter, baby bok choi, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce. and I’m saving the purple cabbage to make a cabbage salad that matt’s mom makes, it’s so good. sadly, though, she is out of town this week so I can’t get the recipe until this weekend.

the little thai eggplants are for a green curry. yum, but I have to find a recipe! I saved the purple basil when I made the pesto for the thai curry too, basil in thai food is so good.

the radishes I can eat with the last sneaky head of lettuce. gosh, I really honestly thought I was about done with that stuff.

I need to make some kind of dill/cucumber/yogurt dish. Dill is so good. If I had more time I’d make bread with dill in it, but that’ll have to wait until next week.

The chard I’ll do the wilty garlicy trick again, but I’ll add those new green peppers too. And probably serve with pasta and pine nuts (I LOVE pine nuts) as a main course instead of a side like last night.

Not too shabby. at all. Esp. as I was reminded last night as I picked up my share (when I met The Farmer! yay!) that this CSA is generally for about 2 adults and maybe 2 kids. And there is Just Me, versus a MOUNTAIN OF VEGGIES. hee.


matt came over for dinner last night and after an exhaustive hour of cooking, we enjoyed whole wheat spaghetti with toasted pine nuts and wilted arugula sauted in garlic olive oil. Plus, appetizers were homemade guacamole and mojitos. yum.

he took this picture of me from his camera phone, and I really like it. perspective is distorted and that’s fun.

kisses for you!

Good to know.

in case it comes up, NJ regs clearly specify that swine food is NOT a solid waste:

N.J.A.C. 7:26G-5.4 Swine food
Pursuant to the Solid Waste Management Act, the definition of solid waste shall not include solid animal or vegetable wastes collected by swine producers, licensed by the State Department of Agriculture, who collect, prepare and feed such wastes to swine on their own farms.

honda specs out!

there’s not a lot of hard numbers available still, but honda has started to release information about the new hybrid and newly designed civic.

treehugger has the pertinent information linked. And it’s a great blog, too.

the new design looks like it’s got a bigger electric engine and some fancy engine controls that keeps all cylinders from going at the same time. It looks super efficient, and I think it must be considered a full hybrid now (up until now all hondas were mild hybrids, relying on the battery for assists only. the full hybrid [such as the prius] can run on the electric motor alone.) which is so cool.

I am super excited about the car! it really looks like it will be more efficient and smaller and lighter than current models, which is all important to me. The only thing that remains to be seen is the transmission: will they have a manual, or will they faze it out in favor of the CVT? hopefully honda will stick to it’s street racing creds and cater to those of us who appreciate the manual transmission for power boost and for fun driving. I have a call in to the albany honda guy and I hope he gets back to me soon!

weekend of quiet

Friday evening I went into the city to wish Jenn C. a happy birthday. I also went out playing foosball, and managed to lose my voice.

me 070805 - 2

so sat., I slept as much as possible. I still couldn’t talk. it was terrible! sat. night we went to matt’s folks to drop off a beach umbrella and I started to feel sicker and sicker. so we went home, and I missed Gabulon’s bday party. sad.

me 070905

At least that night I got 11 hours of sleep. after that, I went to matt’s to use his internets to do some HAZWOPER site supervisor training, and got home around 10. I checked my throat again (still no voice in there!) and went to bed.

me 071005

Not having a voice is boring. and SILLY. I’ve gotten a call already from a client, and I felt pretty funny whispering to her. I can’t really whisper, besides — it’s worse on my vocal chords than forcing a voice, or so I’ve heard. So I’m trying to be quiet. yuck.

in other news: CSA Wk 4

CSA wk 4

Pictured are purple cabbage, tiny cukes little thai eggplants, 2 heads of lettuce, dill, mint, potatoes, and mmm, baby bok choi.

I haven’t done a very good job from last week with my veggies!

I just finished the head of lettuce, and the beets, and I haven’t touched the rest (a head of cabbage, a bag of spinach, some very small radishes and greens, a bag of chard, some red potatoes). I meant to bring the spinich in to eat, but totally forgot about it!

I DID finish a couple of things outliers from wk 2: I ate the pesto and cooked the cabbage in that white bean soup, and
Soon I mean to cook all my potatoes, I’ll roast them will dill and whole cloves of garlic in the oven. That, at least, will be quite tasty.

Here’s my listing of veggies still-to-be-eaten:

Wk 1: thyme
Wk 2: dill, arugala
Wk 3: cabbage, chard, radishes+greens, potatoes, spinich
and now Wk 4 to add to the list…

OK, big plans:

I should cook the spinich b/c it’s a little old. Spinich pie? quiche? I like quiche fine except for the crust.

use thyme and dill and potatoes for roasting with garlic.

I can cook the radish greens and the arugala together. It was really good in that pasta dish I made.

Chard… hm. dunno.

salads of lettuce, radishes, and cukes. 2 heads ought to last me 4 days. (fri, mon, tues, weds, sweet.)

stir fry the baby bok choi with butter, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast. serve on rice.

The purple cabbage would be pretty in a salad or something. I’ll hunt for recipes.

and the mint? MOJITOS. Whoot!

London is Calling…

The events today in London have shaken me up. On the one hand, it’s very surreal: here in the office there isn’t a lot of concern for it. I don’t think anyone has mentioned it to me at all. But I have a lot of friends (internet and otherwise) who are incredibly concerned, and are focused on the news. The discrepency really throws me. Yesterday I was thinking about the olympics bid, and how worthy london was to have won because they really really wanted it, they were really really excited. If NYC had won there wouldn’t be the excitement, joy, unity. There would be people upset about the inconvenience, and general apathy. And now that London has suffered terrible terrorist bombings I am concerned about our reaction. We didn’t offer much of a reaction to Madrid in their time of awful either. So while I’m worrying about London, I’m also worrying about America.

And God, but I remember the terrible waiting period after September 11th in New York City, when we weren’t sure if there was another shoe to drop and if it would. I remember waiting to find out who, of those I know, were spared, and the slow scramble to locate my tourist step-sister. I remember the loud silence in the streets as people wondered what to do with themselves, how they could get home, and later, how they could help. And for all of the horrors that NYC experienced that day, we didn’t have the mass injuries and amputations to deal with and to remind us of what happened. My heart goes out to those who are waiting and coping in London.


sherwin williams is having a paint sale this weekend so I’m going to stock up on their no-VOC harmony paint in order to paint my apartment.

And I’m only buying green colors.

I want to replicate my old green color for my bedroom
digicam 077

and I really want to paint my hall a nice real green color to contrast with my blue walls:

The color I like is called “VEGAN” which cracks me up, and is the most top most chip on the left side.

here’s a better view, straight from the sherwin williams website:

so all this green, and on top of that, have I mentioned what color my bathroom is?