Monday, March 31, 2008
This time I drove down to NC, and I have to say that I remember why I started flying there. Seven hours in a car (each way) is dreadfully tiring for a weekend trip drive. To make matters worse, the windshield wipers on my car don't work right. I have to push the wash windshield button to get the wipers to turn on and wipe once. Conveniently, the instant I find out my wipers don't work is when it rains. I probably drained my windshield wiper fluid reservoir by the time I got to Richmond.
Monday, March 24, 2008
"A growing trend in all-you-can-eat seating at sports venues is making baseball's summer chorus sound more like "Take Me Out to the Buffet.''
Dozens of arenas, stadiums and tracks are offering tickets that come with unlimited snacks. The seats have been a hit with fans, a money-maker for the venues and a worry for obesity-conscious health officials."
Links to the news are on USAToday and Toronto Star. I personally found the news to be pretty appalling.
I understand that all you can eat can be enticing, especially since the human body is programmed for an environment of scarcity rather than the environment of plenty that we actually live in. But it seems to me that this all you can eat gimmick is a sign of how screwed up the U.S. relationship to food and consumerism is. The sports venues are obviously trying to entice more fans to the game and increase the bottom line, while disregarding the health and well-being of their customers. The consumers on the other hand are falling into the trap of getting a "deal" on cheap food, even though the "food" isn't that great and has a negative health impact.
Now, if there was unlimited whole grain pita chips, hummus, and fresh organic seasonal fruits and veggies, you might see me heading out to the ball park. Alas, that will probably never happen. No one would pay the price for real food, and sadly, a lot of people probably wouldn't even eat healthy, wholesome offerings.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The last batch of cornbread I made actually went bad after a few days, despite my cookbook's claim that cornbread keeps for a week when tightly covered in plastic wrap. This week, I decided to try to the cornbread muffin route so that the cornbread would be in convenient single serving sizes and could be easily stuffed in a tupperware for freezing. I'm quite pleased with this week's baking experiment, though I have come to realize that our muffin tins totally suck. Apparently, these tins are from the spray-on teflon generation where the teflon doesn't really stay bonded to the tin very well. Gen scraped off the teflon flakes while I proceeded to admire my baking handiwork.
I also baked some more whole wheat flatbread. I think I'm getting the hang of controlling whether I get crackers or flatbread. If I crank the oven up to 450F and roll the dough a little thinner, I get something more cracker-like. If I roll slightly thicker and bake at 400F or lower, I usually get a flatbread type bread. Pretty intuitive, huh? It only took 3 attempts for my engineering skills to figure that one out. Some pieces formed pockets, which leads Gen and I to believe that we can attempt pita bread in the future.
I think I'll probably keep up the flatbread and cracker baking on a regular basis. I might as well be eating my own processed carbs rather than the even more highly refined store bought stuff. My cooking idol Alton Brown says, "I love crackers, and I'm not about to trust their production to anyone (especially elves in hollow trees)." I concur.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Of course, the article does go on to state that correlation does not mean causation (and anyone that thinks otherwise is ripe for mental manipulation). It could very well be publication success that's driving the beer drinking habit: the poor sots who can't publish a thing might be drowning their sorrows with their good ole friend Al Key Hall.
The study reminded me of other amusing correlations I've read about in the past. I remember way back in the day, when I was a young whipper snapper in college, I heard about a study showing a correlation between coffee drinking and women's feeling of success in their lives. Granted, I never read the original paper, but the first thing that came to my mind was how in the world they published such a ridiculous paper. It seems quite clear that women who need to wake up in the morning (i.e. having work or other stuff to do) would likely be drinking coffee and working their way to success in life.
Another fun example is the correlation between cow populations and global warming. While there is some truth in cow farts being a source of greenhouse gas methane, cows are definitely not the underlying cause. The last funny example I came across is from the Pastafarians of Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) fame. They've noted a strong inverse correlation between the global average temperature and the number of pirates in the world. Who knew? Yargh... apparently, the old Pastafarian salts received some noodly strands of knowledge from the FSM.
Sunday, March 16, 2008
On another note, this weekend was the St. Patrick's Day weekend. Of course, I was completely oblivious to the holiday since I'm not Irish, don't drink, and live in a strange bubble cut off from these bits of information. Anyhow, I was quickly made aware of the holiday by the throngs of green-clothed people all over Philadelphia over the weekend. There were even small crowds of green people around University City at 8:45 a.m. on Saturday morning. And they were all apparently going bar hopping. I can appreciate people wanting to celebrate, but starting a quest for alcohol at 8:45 a.m. seems just a bit excessive. By the late afternoon, there were already drunk people riding the trains. I don't know about you, but I find the idea of being intoxicated by 3:30 p.m. is IMO just a tiny bit disturbing, especially considering that I'm sure these revelers were probably going to be drinking into the night. Maybe I just value my mental faculties and liver health too much.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Though my worthless body fat analyzer doesn't tell me anything useful, I'm pretty sure I've dropped 1% body fat. Since last Thanksgiving, I've dropped over 10lbs in weight without any perceived loss in strength. And since my abs are starting to show, I'm think my body fat percentage is probably approaching single digits. I'm not quite at a 6-pack yet, so according to the muscle nuts at Testosterone Nation, my body fat percentage is still double digit. Maybe in another couple of months, I'll have both my resolution and my vain ego fulfilled.
Monday, March 10, 2008
- tofu veggie soup
- sticky rice with tofu, black mushroom, and mixed veggies
- stir-fried Chinese broccoli with black beans
- stir-fried tofu with broccoli and mushrooms in bean sauce
- one pot of mung bean soup
- two crocks of red bean soup
- 3 loaves (really 1 regular, and two mini) of honey whole wheat bread
- lavash (actually my attempt at crackers which inadvertently turned into flatbread)
- baked marinated tofu
Believe it or not, I had actually contemplated three more food items (quesadillas, Thai curry, and pesto), but I was lacking in either ingredients or energy. As much food as that is, I actually anticipate needing to cook more by Friday. *Sigh*
Oh, and yes, the Iron Chef is a pansy. He has several helpers and a spacious, well-equipped kitchen. He also doesn't have to do the dishes.