Archive for June, 2008

New Photo Albums, and An Intro

This weekend, I got much more work done on my laptop case, having been inspired by my sewing class that ended Saturday.  I made a skirt, and let’s just say that I’m glad I chose a garish mustard yellow/pumpkin orange color combo, since it causes viewers to not want to look again to check my seams for accuracy.  It’s possible I’ll wear it in public, but I might also need a bag to wear over my head.  Or I’ll just save it for events I’d rather not attend in the first place.

Laptop CaseThe laptop case fared much better- I found a fantastic yellow chunk of stuff, and so I lined some outside pockets and the inside lid with it, and it’ll be just right for the tape connecting the inner and outer cases, eventually.  I also dove into the strap issue, and got the buckles securely on.  I’m making it up as I go along, really, but it’s turning out wonderfully.  Photos and an explanation are here.

Tonight in between rainstorms I weeded my pots and replanted the ones whose contents had mysteriously died.  Erm.  No idea how… I’ve got no peas or sweet peas left (though seeds for the latter- apparently they’re clTomato flowersimbers!  Who knew!  I’ll get some more things for them to climb, and try again).  I’ve staked both tomato plants, and one of them has gone feral, and grown quite enough for three tomato plants.  It’s got some tiny tomatoes now, though, in clusters of three, and about 15 buds.  Both pepper plants have peppers coming along well, and my “hearty” lettuce is thriving in the alternate scorching sun/torrential downpours we’ve been getting for the past month.  The Swiss Chard, which I planted at the same time as the lettuce, has got two sickly-looking sprouts, so I added more seeds to that container.  Both that and the lettuce are supposed to do well with the heat- I suspect the chard was upset by the rain.  My romaine is seaweedy, but keeps getting bigger. I planted new mint, baby’s breath, poppies, spinach, and cilantro, also, in some of the empty containers.  Photos here.

While on the topic of my gardenous bounty, I should share that I’m a bit worried that it will die/I won’t be around to harvest it.  I’m headed to a family reunion in Hayward, WI for a week this Saturday- I assume the tomato and one of the peppers are preparing to be ripe next Wednesday, drat the luck.  Hopefully I can convince my housemates to water them while I’m away- maybe with edible bribes?  I know they won’t love them like I do.

More on WI soon.  It’s thematic.

Surplus English Wine

That’s what Prince Charles’ Aston Martin runs on.

Two things:  England has wine?  And, there is such a thing as extra wine?

via Huffpost.

Slow Week

Not environment-wise, but rather on my part.  I’ve been sick since Wednesday and have fallen behind in both posting and the vegetarian challenge.  But I’m on the mend, and I’ll get back into this with a couple of quick stories about disgusting Presidential decisions on the environment from the past week.  Perhaps it is  just as well to only link and describe them briefly, because anger and outrage is wasted on these people.  Best to channel all that into ensuring our future governments are never this blatantly, loathsomely anti-science and anti-human, ever again.

Bush and his drones won’t recognize their own EPA’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are air pollution and regulable under the Clean Air Act.  Their oh-so-classy way of rejecting this decision?  Why, just refuse to open the report!  Because if you don’t read it, it means it’s not true!  Congrats to the White House, for bringing pushy stupidity to a new low.

Meanwhile, they were working on a way to squelch science that they accidentally found out about (one assumes that the EPA hid it in the President’s funny pages, and he read it while looking for the punchline to Family Circus).  Mukasey and Bush are withholding a number of pertinent documents from a Congressional investigation on Bush’s role in neutering greenhouse gas and smog regulations, on the grounds that releasing them is unnecessary to the investigation, and harmful to the office of the president (which trumps harmful to America now).  While the latter is simply ludicrous (if he’s doing something that would denigrate the “presidency” if openly known, that’s something we DEFINITELY need the documentation about), they’ve got a point on the former: the documents they already released are quite clear that Bush and his White House staff directly intervened on at least two occasions to water down smog regulation, and reverse EPA decisions on Californian fuel efficiency standards.  If that’s not enough to conclude that Bush’s political pressures are preventing the EPA from doing its job, Congress is dumber than they look.

Maybe it’s the virus making me pessimistic, but it feels like it’s really just the Bush administration making me sick.

Candidates and Fuel

Recently, both candidates have said and done and been observed doing plenty of things that illuminate their positions on energy, the environment, the economy.  Mostly they say it’s about the economy and energy.  They’re not talking so much about the environment- except, on McCain’s end, slightly ironically, from what I can tell-  but they are revealing themselves.


So here’s the summation:

McCain is for offshore drilling so we can have plenty of cheap oil, auto efficiency standards so we don’t need oil, a gas tax holiday so we can afford all the gas-made-from-oil we like, and a 300 million dollar prize to whomever invents a totally sweet car battery to make our oily cars obsolete.

Barack Obama is aok with corn ethanol and would like some switch grass work to be done, supports a windfall tax on oil companies, and wants to close loopholes that may allow speculators to push up the cost of oil beyond where supply and demand would have it.

McCain opposes the windfall profits (as do I: why not just stop subsidizing oil companies already?), and Obama thinks offshore oil drilling is ridiculous (as do I, and the Bush’s Energy Information Administration, and most people who are well versed in oil markets, regardless of who they’re voting for).  And as for McCain’s 300 million prize, well, the conservative National Review likes the concept of giving people who invent things government money but hates everything else McCain does for the environment, and the liberal Climate Progress points out some pretty glaring flaws in the actual idea.  So take your pick.

I’m not entirely happy with Obama’s energy and environment positions.  Sure, by all means, close speculator loopholes.  But corn ethanol is a beastly subsidy, and we can do better in both fuel production and food markets by ending it.  Still, good on him for opposing foolhardy drilling measures despite political “expediency”, and not pandering to the public by promising cheaper gas.  Now, let’s hear more, Senator O.

As for McCain, well.  He sure is talking a lot about this, but when is he going to make up his mind on whether we need to use more oil or less oil?  You can’t, in one sane, honest mind, espouse reductions in greenhouse gases, and at the same time promise cheap oil for everybody.  With all the double-talk, he’s managed to alienate both his conservative supporters and the environmentalists he wants to give him a chance.

Green TV: Hulu and Beyond

This post is mostly to justify the amount of time I’ve spent watching Remington Steele at Hulu this past week, but when I was looking through their archives, I came across a surprising number of environmentally-oriented programs.  What’s up with all this green tv?

Hulu is a free streaming video site- like Youtube, but they carry entire shows and movies.  It’s legal, and there’s some stuff you have to sign in to watch, and there are a couple of commercials played during each episode.  But the videos stream pretty quickly and without weirdness for me, so that’s a nice big plus.

You can watch clips or episodes from “Big Ideas for a Small Planet”, which is a documentary series about sustainable topics- power, water, fashion (!?), and the like. “Eco Biz” profiles entrepreneurs in green businesses, and new eco-business strategies. “Ecoist” appears to be clips of famous people talking about their environmental activism. National Geographic has a passel of short environment documentaries posted, also. Oh, and Fox was helpful and posted their 10-second clips of famous people telling you to do green things from Earth Day. So, if you feel the need to hear Omar Epps lecture you on reusable bag use, be Hulu’s guest.

As for environment movies, there’s…uh…The Day After Tomorrow.  Which is awesome, but not in the informative way.

Looks like there are some entire channels dedicated to green programing now- Sundance’s The Green, Discovery’s Planet Green.  They’ve got reality shows (on Planet Green: Greensburg- after a tornado destroyed everything, they’re trying to rebuild, well, green) and celebrities (Sundance does Ecoist, but a more entertaining series has Isabella Rosselini in elaborate insect costumes while describing in graphic detail their mating rituals.  Probably NSFW, or children for whom the facts of life have not been outlined, though bug love presents a much less loaded conversation-starter than most cable programming).  Plus home makeovers, science, history, business…like other cable channels, only I’m hoping the show host banter is less grating and more informative.

I’ve got at least a season of Steele left, but maybe I’ll stream some Big Ideas afterward.  Anyone else seen these shows?  Whats good?

Recipe: Good Mustard Potato Salad

Potato salad is my favorite food, in my head.  I love it in a very specific, theoretical incarnation, and I haven’t found a source that makes it that way.  (How do I know how I like my potato salad then?  Maybe I was served the Right Kind when I was young once?  Maybe my brain’s chef took the mayonnaise and potato idea and whipped up an imaginary taste?)

Thanks to this month’s cooking challenge, I finally made the potato salad that I’ve coveted last night, and it’s every bit as wonderful as I was hoping.  It’s based around a spicy brown mustard and rosemary from my garden.  No dill or tarragon, though I know those are typical flavorings- I don’t like dill, and I had some awkward encounters with a tarragon-based soda in Russia, so I avoid that also.  The most important part of this is the mustard.  Don’t use that flavorless yellow junk: get a serious, tasty mustard.  I used a half-bottle of Gulden’s, which costs less than the yellow stuff and tastes ten times better.


small red potatoes, chopped to bite-size

onion, chopped small

good mustard





Wash and chop the potatoes, then set them to boil until they’re soft- don’t let them get to mashed potato consistency, unless you’re actually secretly hoping to make mashed potatoes instead.  Meanwhile, pick and wash some rosemary (or take out the bottle of it) and chop it and the onions up.  When the potatoes are ready, put them in a big bowl.  Cover them with enough mustard to get a thin coat on each potato.  Toss in the onions.  Add a small glop of mayonnaise, and stir around.  Toss in rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste.

I bet the mayo is optional, but even a little of it makes everything so creamy.


Email Me @ (at )

RSS Photo Albums

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Blog Stats

  • 47,635 hits

Unless otherwise indicated, all content and photos posted on this site are generated by me. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.