Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Voting on the facts

Ah, it's that wonderful time again when we are bombarded with political ads from our presidential hopefuls about what they plan on doing and why the other guy sucks and you'd be an idiot to vote for him/her.
Actually, I really enjoy elections, having spent a good many years in the Washington DC area and even hobnobbing with some of our government's finest. Nowadays, I get to enjoy watching the catfights from 3000 miles away in my suburban Arizona home. Ah.. .the life.

In this election, there seems to be more nasty smears/rumors/etc about the candidates than in years past. Some of the claims that have been made about this or that candidate have run the gamut from misquotations, to just flat out liar-liar-pants-on-fire falsehoods. I was equally surprised that people actually believed some of them, and/or had no idea how to check out the validity of the claim. So I thought I'd post the URL's to some fact checking sites around the internet for those (as few as you may be) who read my little blog.


ETA: also check out www.taxpolicycenter.org to see a breakdown of each of their fiscal plans

Now there are a few more, and you can find those links usually on one or more of the sites listed above. But really, they all pretty much say the same thing. I urge you to not only get out and vote, but vote intelligently!!! Check out the candidates website and actually READ what they say on the various issues. Check out claims that they make against each other, especially the negative stuff as it's often been manipulated to make themselves sound better.

Anyway, hopefully by posting these here, someone somewhere can make a more educated, informed vote in this election year.

As far as the rest of my life, this past week was spent buried in my Organic Chemistry books in preparation for an exam on Wednesday (as in tomorrow), so nothing really new to report on any front. Got in a few short workouts, and have not been able to knit very much (which means I'm still working on The Cardigan).

Hope everyone has a good week!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

An interesting list

Obsconded from another blog with permission, feel free to do the same. I don't know how to cross things out, so I'm just bolding those things I've eaten.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash (properly spelled gulyas)
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (Home made bagels.. yum)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Friday, September 12, 2008

Okra heaven

One of my other interests that I've yet to mention on this blog is gardening. This year, I finally expanded beyond our citrus trees to a real garden. Of course, finding something that will grow here in the summer was a challenge.. but then I found okra! What a great vegetable to grow: loves the heat, has no pests, and grows like a weed. I'm picking about 3lbs per week of the stuff I've fried them up, but we can't eat them faster than they're growing, so today I pickled a couple of pounds worth of okra, yummy!

No sooner do I say it and it changes

The weather that is: after mentioning the lingering monsoon in yesterday's post, we had a dust storm/thunderstorm blow through yesterday from the west, changing the overall jetstream direction and, voila, dry and cool this morning. As in 69F cool at 6am!! Brrrrr! Well, not really brrrr, but very noticably cooler. We'll see how daytime temps are for this weekend with this drier air.

Made for a great workout this morning that's for sure. I completed my normal 3 mile route in 37:48 this morning. Not great time as far as past performances go, but good enough to be the fastest I've done this route since before I got sick in January! Wootness!

Tomorrow is a rest day, will enjoy the company of my knitting buddies in the morning and lots of homework in the afternoon.

And to keep with the thread line: My new shoes still haven't arrived yet. There. Now that I said it, maybe it will change!

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, September 11, 2008

A little relief...

...goes a long way. After a very trying weekend of attempting to get caught up on my classes, unsuccessfully, I decided to drop the lab portion of my Organic Chemistry class. There was just no way to stay caught up in the lectures and complete the lab report, and upcoming pre-lab assignments. Something had to give, and so the lab went.

Wow, what a difference. For one, now I have an entire extra day to get things done rather than being in the lab -- AND -- I have less to worry about getting done in more time. Whew! Even still, this week I've spent hours going over problems and memorizing the nomenclature (naming molecules/compounds for those who aren't familiar with the word) for this chapter. I'm still not completely caught up, but at least now I feel like I actually understand what's going on in my classes. This may mean a delay by a year in completing this degree, but that's ok. I'm likely to go on for my Master's anyway, so it's not like I wouldn't have been in school still anyway. Luckily, I have the luxury to take my time in getting this degree. I just don't want to be in school forever just for the B.A though, so hopefully I can handle the lab next year with my other non-lab classes. We'll see.

We're also getting relief here in terms of temperatures (yay!). This week, all of the high temps are below 100!! Some of you may be scratching your head at that statement, but for here, it's a bit unusual. With the departure of the humid monsoons, we normally get a week or so of very high temps, like around 110 or sometimes higher, right around this time of year. This year, it seems the monsoon is lingering which is great for keeping temps at a far more comfy 96-98F. Even with the added humidity, it's ok, since the sun is not so bright, and we're getting breezy winds (that are actually kinda coolish). I was stunned this morning to turn on my shower spiget and actually have to wait for the water to warm up. Typically, we don't have any cold water all summer into October. What a delight to feel cool, tepid water from the tap this morning.

The slightly-freed-up schedule and lower temps have made workouts all the more easier this week. I even did a short but sweet fartlek workout on Sunday which was fun. Just about 1/4 mile bursts at under 10mpm pace (9:32 - 9:53), which is great as I haven't seen paces that low for well over a year now, before getting sick last January. I haven't done consistent speed workouts since Spring of 2007 and am looking forward to really cooler temps so I can get those back in regularly.

I'm most excited, however, to finally have gotten my husband out walking. We went out for our first 'walk' this morning. I didn't want to push him really, but couldn't resist doing so just a little in the middle of the walk. We walked for 2 miles in 34 minutes. He claims I'm trying to kill him. I'm chuckling under my breath (not really, he could still hear me), but I don't want him to get discouraged, so I'm going to take it very easy on him until he gets more into the habit. Then I'll push him!!

Knitting wise, I'm still still still working on that cardigan. I'm now about 1/2 way done with the first sleeve, so not much more to go. I have sock yarn that is just screaming at me to be dyed, knit, etc., but I'm being good and resisting until I can get this monkey off my back. I must say though, that it's turning out really nice. The pattern is very easy, and the yarn (Southwest Trading Company's Therapi) is fantastic. Soft, smooth like buttah!

So that's the update for this week. Hopefully next week I'll have a pic of the finished (!) cardigan.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just an update

Quick update. I've been able to get back into a better groove this week with workouts. Of course, having Monday as a holiday helped out with that! But the best part, it's cool enough in the very early mornings to get outside to workout!

Monday: 2.25 (about) racewalking, after which point I ran into my friend Carol whom I haven't seen in a long while. I walked with her and her dogs the rest of the way home, so a little over 3 miles covered.

Tuesday: this is technically a rest day since I have to leave for class so early and don't get back til much later in the day. However, I walked from my car to class and back rather than taking the shuttle, and I know that distance is at least .5 mi each way, so I'm taking advantage of that little distance on those days.

Wednesday: a planned 3 miles racewalking became only 2 miles after encountering a loose dog on my path and changing directions. Oh well. These things, while annoying, happen sometimes. Not sure of what my pace really was as I didn't wear my Garmin and had to switch to regular walking right in the middle so as not to get the dog's attention. I do know that it felt like a great workout and I was pushing a lot during the last .75 mile or so.

Off to shower and to school. Thankfully today is just 2 lecture classes and I'll be home by lunchtime. I have tons of homework/reading to do, not to mention the lab writeup and research paper that I need to start today as well, so it will be a busy day.

OTN: STILL working on the SWTC cardigan, almost done with both front panels. Hoping to finish that tonight during baseball, and maybe even casting on a sleeve (I told you this kind of project just goes on and on).

Have a great day everyone!