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April 2007 Archives

April 1, 2007

space quidditch

finally, nasa does something interesting - space quidditch!

April 2, 2007

do watcha gonna do

So I finished reading my training book, "crucial conversations". I actually didn't think it was so great on the scale of self-help books. Sure it was filled with common sense, like they all are, but not enough practical implementation was involved. There has to be better advice than "Don't say bad things like that!". So from me, a big fat thumbs down.

And since we just hit the second quarter, I have two new training books:
- Managing Upward (I'm sure my supervisor would have found this funny if he actually looked at my training invoice)
- Conflict Management (I'm not sure if this is more of a reflection on me or the company I keep).

In my private time I am reading "Planetwalker: How to Change Your World One Step at a Time" by John Francis. This is a great book about a man who, distressed by the state of environmental affairs, stopped talking and gave up motorized transportation while walking across the world. While on his journey, he managed to do a lot. This book is written so well (and incidentally demonstrates many of the skills in 'crucial conversations'), that I recommend it to anyone.

April 4, 2007

crazy is just another word for insane

Well, there are a lot of things I feel passionate about today, but I'll spare you the ranting. Instead you can read about my latest craze, reducing the gas consumption of my vehicle.

A few weeks ago, I had posted this article about coasting in neutral, the benefits of which were exemplified by a madman who would actually wear an icepack rather than turn on the AC or roll down his windows.

This last week, I had read an article about how idling your engine causes more gas inefficiency. Yes, according to these people you use less gas when you stop and restart your engine while waiting at a light.

So where does this lead us? of course, to a full tank of gas and me on a mission. So for the duration of this tank of gas, I am going to try coasting in neutral and turning off the engine at stop lights. Am I mad??? possibly. but here are a few notes to convince you that there is still some rationality left in the old noggin.

1) I am only turning off my engine at intersections that I know the traffic pattern at. This way, I won't be sitting there an extra 5 seconds holding up traffic while I start up the car.
2) Yes, I realize someone could rear-end me while the car is off, which excludes the possibility of my attempting any evasive maneuvers. I'm not actually doing anything about this, other than keeping it in mind.
3) Coasting in neutral requires that I join that group of people. you know.. those people. the "who the hell is doing the speed limit" people. its actually kind of refreshing and i'm still taking the same amount of time to get places.
4) illegality? whatever.
And so for this limited opportunity, i think I will open up for some comments:

April 5, 2007

we are the world

well these are the 'good' things I did today:

1 - wrote a letter to Olay (the beauty product company) informing them that I, a long-time consumer, was going to be switching to other product lines that support and promote the environment (ex. Paul Mitchell, Aveda). I know its not going to change the world but maybe they will increase their tally on "people who complained about our product today" statistics.

UPDATE: I got a response from Olay, its pretty funny:

Response
---------------------------------------------------------------
We are addressing an unforeseen company-wide issue, so we need to take some time off from answering email. We're sorry we won't be able to reply to your message, but we expect to be up and running in the very near future.

As always, we appreciate your loyalty to our products and understanding of our current situation. Thanks for your patience!


2 - Pulled a free credit report. Identified four cards that I wasn't using anymore and closed them.

3 - oh wait, that's it..

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
on a side note, I have developed a nasty case of "Diablo II shoulder". There is a muscle in my left shoulder that is just in pain. I think its from hunching over my laptop and playing Diablo II for hours on end. On the lighter side, I have a sweet necromancer!

April 12, 2007

tings.

I've been meaning to post this and I can't recall if I did already. I have one piece of decent advice for people and I want to share it.

If you love ranch dressing, DO NOT buy Hidden Valley Ranch LIGHT! Buy regular Hidden Valley Ranch. Hidden Valley makes the best ranch I have tasted yet. It is so good, that I am happy to pay more to buy it.

I bought the light version for two reasons:
1) it had less calories. and if you check out the nutritional info on hidden valley ranch, you can see how it might compete with a small candy bar.
2) the light version didn't substitute in weird chemicals.

but it lacks that special something and trust me, you will notice it every time you eat it, on salad, with buffalo wings, on a potatoe...

I wasn't expecting it to be the same, but its not even comparable.

April 16, 2007

today's lunch

I am excessively fond of my lunchbox.

Today's lunch is:
Double-cream herbed brie with Melba toasts
Miso Soup
Curried rice pilaf with Quorn roast
Dole Fruit cup.

with some Kashmiri tea, its damn good - I should become a veggie lunch cart lady!

on a side note, I received my kill-a-watt this weekend. I've only had time to plug it into a couple of devices. Note* a Macbook charger draws no power when not connected to a laptop

-----------------------------------------
While we are on the subject of food. I thought I would read up on superfoods, since I've been seeing things labeled as such (being an informed consumer takes work!). "Superfood" actually has no real definition, but sorta refers to items that have lots of antioxidents and are healthy (ex. soy, blueberries, apples, tea, dark chocolate). as usual, moderation is the way to go. Don't expect a diet high in 'superfoods' to keep you young forever. While browsing through the controversy, I found this great page of "things you should NEVER eat".. interestingly enough, twinkies were not on the list.

April 17, 2007

Earth day what?

As I was informed by my corporate e-mail, Earth day is almost upon us. I didn't think that was particularly wonderful as the summary for our event was "Earth Day - come see an abbreviated presentation of 'An Inconvenient Truth' and get FREE ICE CREAM!"

somehow I doubt they are going to cover topics like home composting...

but onwards and upwards... I went to home depot to buy some compact flourescent light (CFL) bulbs and a programmable thermostat. Looks like Home Depot is getting into Earth Day as well, cause they started labeling some of their items as being environmentally friendly. In fact, they are gonna be giving away light bulbs for earth day.

So today I replaced 13 'regular' 60 watt light bulbs with 12 CFL bulbs that were 11 to 16 Watts. Crazy eh? but how crazy? well, the average cost of electricity in a residential area of my state for 2006 was 8 and a half cents per KillowattHour. hmm, what does that actually mean...

realistically, we may only run three lights at any given time so:
3 lights at 16 watts = 48watts during one hour = .048kWh at $.085 = .0041 cents per hour. The same calculation for 60 watt bulbs is .015 cents, for a savings of 1 cent an hour, at about 8 hours of use during a day is about $2.25 a month.

well, i am just exploding with saved pennies here. let's hope the programmable thermostat does better. and if someone notices that i made a math error, let me know.

April 18, 2007

not enough green

factoid of the day:
- my blood is 38% red blood cells as opposed to plasma and the other stuff.
- 38% is the minimum you can have before they don't let you donate blood
- according to the blood technician, I need to eat more green veggies, like broccoli and spinach

Does is make me a bad vegetarian if I don't like green vegetables? maybe not, but it probably makes me a mildly unhealthy one. So today's lunch was from Whole Foods, cause sometimes, you want a nice froo-froo lunch that costs less than $20.

1) organic strawberries - on sale!
2) Zesty Garlic Hummus
3) Wheat Baguette
4) Rapini with Garlic and Olive Oil
5) Asian Forbidden Rice Salad (ok - i got this for the mystery factor)

yummy!

April 23, 2007

Anthony Bourdain

i just finished reading "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. You may have seen him on tv. He has a show where he travels the world eating the weirdest local food you never knew existed. Here is my recommendation, if you have any interest in being a foodie or you really enjoy reading, you MUST READ THIS BOOK. The writing is excellent and the perspective is craaazy.

so here is what I have been eating today:

breakfast
fruit smoothie with strawberry, banana, peach, yogurt, apple juice, and flaxseed (fibre)

lunch
spaghetti with 'meat'balls
potato and leek soup
amazingly good chunk of whole wheat baguette
blackberries

I have to say, I am on a baguette kick right now. They are so tasty. I've been eating them with hummus, butter, and plain. All of it is delicious. Why waste time eating boring sliced white bread when you can have something yummy?

April 26, 2007

Status update

I thought it would be a good time to inventory the things I have tried this year:
(in no particular order)

Worm Box - status: Complete
This is going pretty well. I put trash in the box and the worms eat it. What more could I want?
Kill-A-Watt - status: Stalled
Well, I bought one and then I measured two things and got quickly bored.
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs - status: Complete
I bought a bunch of the N-vision bulbs in soft and bright white and changed out ALL the bulbs in the house. Excellent.
Reducing gas use - status: Complete
Through a combination of coasting and turning off my engine at stop lights, I managed to raise my rating from 28.5 to 30.2 mpg. That means I got 23.8 more miles than usual, saving me about $3.00 per tank of gas.
Tongue scraping - status: Failed
I didn't see any results so I quit.
Coffee Break Spanish - status: Failed
I got through 3 lessons and the only thing I remember is that people from mainland spain say "Grathias" instead of "Gracias".
Making your Own mayonnaise - status: Never Started
I really meant to do this... someday.
Dorodango - status: New
now this looks super cool! Now I just need to find some dirt!

April 30, 2007

resolution de jour

today, I vow to stop drinking sub-par red table wine.

And its time to stop infantilizing our teen agers.

And you may want to consider supporting businesses who make good products. Otherwise, you wind up with illegal chemicals in your pet food.

and for all you people who support pig farms with your eating habits, don't you know that pigs will eat ANYTHING?

About April 2007

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in April 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

May 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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