Saturday, May 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Bobby!

Yesterday was Bobby's birthday, and although we couldn't do something like last year, we did manage to have ourselves a pretty good time.

First up was dinner with the family at Crab Cooker in Newport Beach. It was nice to go out to dinner with everyone - we don't get to do that very often.

After dinner his brother, sister, and friends Jon and Oahn came back to our place to hang out for awhile. A few more friends came by the house and we had dueling rock bands for a few hours. The boys were in the back room jamming, and the girls were in the front of the house playing Rock Band on the XBox. We had to turn the TV up a little loud just to hear ourselves.

Luckily for us, our neighbors are very tolerant of noise. They are often pretty loud themselves, so they don't seem to mind too much if we are loud either. We played until after midnight, and just enjoyed the company.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


I was at the supermarket the other day and the smell of the strawberries made my mouth water. I hadn't even gone to look at them - just walking by I could smell them. They must be in season now, because you couldn't possibly find strawberries this fragrant if they were not. I had to buy some, and my in-season suspicion was confirmed when I saw how cheap the usually expensive berries were. As soon as I started my car the smell had permeated the air, and I drove home smelling strawberries.

Bobby and I have not been able to stop eating them all week. I think we've had vanilla ice cream with strawberries every night, and I've had them with yogurt and granola every morning. They are so tasty and smell so wonderful right now, I can't get enough of them. Now I have to find a recipe for Strawberry Shortcake...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Aunt's Story

My cousin has a type of Autism, and since the diagnosis my aunt has become an avid researcher and advocate on the subject. She's an incredibly intelligent, and well educated woman, and has built a website and blog,, to provide resources on the subject, and communicate her research and opinions.

In addition to her philosophy and her research into the science, she has spent a significant amount of time exposing questionable (possibly unethical) research and litigation in the autism world. She is an excellent writer - all of her posts are very well researched with the appropriate citations (and often quite long as well), and many are quite critical of some doctors, "doctors," and lawyers.

Shortly after publishing a post quite critical of one lawyer in particular who seems to have made a quite a bit of money representing plantiffs in Vaccine Injury Compensation Program claims (a majority of which were found to be without merit), my aunt was served with a subpeona. The lawyer that she had been critical of seemed to want to scare her off. He clearly didn't realize what he was starting. After her Motion to Quash, the subpeona was not only quashed, but the attorney involved was Ordered to Show Cause as to why he should not be sanctioned for abuse of power. The attorney did eventually submit a Response (after requesting an extension), and although my aunt was not required to respond, she did so.

Her original post is quite damning (and as a taxpayer, very frustrating, since it is the government that pays the legal fees in VICP claims), and one could only assume the subpeona was out of retaliation. The lawyer in question argues that my aunt is part of a conspiracy on the part of the defendant in his case, or the pharmaceutical industry as a whole. If this were the case, it seems his defendant should have been the subpeona, and it should have been more pointed.

My aunt has, of course, documented the entire ordeal on her weblog so we can all follow along. If you have the time to read through it, I highly recommend the post that started it all, The Commerce in Causation. I also particularly enjoyed reading the lawyer's response to the Order to Show Cause, since my aunt added in her own links throughout, poking fun at her supposed conspiracy.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Mediocre Results

I had such great plans for this weekend. No, not "things to do" plans, more meal plans. I'd been surfing Epicurious the last few weeks and picked a few recipes I really wanted to try out, and I figured the holiday weekend would allow me the chance to try them. I'm really trying to make and eat new things, otherwise I find myself in a rut - making the things I know, and know I like.

I left work early on Friday, and did all my grocery shopping. I had multiple stops to make, but my hope was that I wouldn't have to return to the store for the remainder of the weekend. This was my meal plan for the weekend:

Friday Dinner: Gorgonzola Burgers with Portabella Mushrooms
Saturday Lunch: Tuna Melts with Tomato, Potage a l'Oignon
Saturday Dinner: Salmon with Fennel, Steamed Broccoli, Banana Coffee Cake with Chocolate Chip Streusel
Sunday Lunch: Mixed Green Salads with Grilled Chicken
Sunday Dinner: Chicken in Riesling, Chocolate Ice Cream
Monday: Salmon Spring Rolls with Coriander Dipping Sauce, Mixed Baby Green Salad with Ginger Dressing, Asian Style Pork Spareribs with Jasmine Rice with Garlic, Ginger, and Cilantro, Mango Sorbet

Ambitious, right? I had deserts and everything! I tried to balance the meals so we weren't eating heavy foods for both lunch and dinner, and with Monday, I was making an attempt at courses. I like the idea of courses, of small portions of variety. Bobby's never hungry in the morning, so I wasn't planning breakfasts - that would just be random.

The Gorgonzola Burgers were good. I just chopped up some red onion and crumbled Gorgonzola in with the meat, grilled the patties and the mushrooms, and added a slice of Provolone on top of the patties. In hindsight, I think it would be better to make a paste out of the Gorgonzola and melt it on the top of the patty after flipping it, rather than grilling it inside the meat. Other than that, it was pretty tasty. I wanted a vegetable, so I grilled some halved endives to go with the burgers, since I'm trying to avoid fries.

My Tuna Melts are always good. Albacore, chopped red onion, garlic salt, pepper, mayo, always on (buttered) sourdough bread (large peices, from the bakery department), always with sliced tomato, and various cheese. I almost never use cheddar or jack. Bobby loves PepperJack and other spiced cheeses; I prefer Provolone, Gouda, Edam, and other milder cheeses. I layer them - bread, cheese, tomato, tuna, tomato, cheese bread. I also tend to put almost a can on each sandwich, so I have to cook them on relatively low heat for awhile so the heat gets all the way through. I usually eat half of one; Bobby eats his and my other half. The soup is a great compliment to the tuna, and I've made it before and know its delicious. I highly recommend it.

Dinner on Saturday - not so good. I'd never had Fennel before. I knew it is anise-flavored (read: licorice flavored), and I've never been fond of licorice (in fact, I can't stand it), but I think it is such a pretty looking vegetable, and it's in season right now, so I thought I would give it a try. I figured it would be a lighter flavor and just maybe...

Unfortunately... No. The whole kitchen smelled like licorice. I skipped the Pernod (I didn't want to buy a bottle of liquor I'm never going to drink, and I wanted to lighten the anise flavor anyway), and it was still too licorice-y. The salmon at least came out ok, and since I had the broccoli we could just avoid the fennel. I won't be making anything with fennel again.

Lunch on Sunday was again something I've made before and liked; also just very simple. Jon came over to chat for a bit, and I just happened to have one extra chicken breast, so he joined us for lunch as well. I just cut the veggies and grilled the chicken, then gave everyone cheese, nut, and dressing options.

The Chicken in Reisling was okay - not great, not bad, just there. I think I would make it again, but use onion and garlic as well, and flour the chicken or add something to thicken the sauce some. I can tell I didn't use enough salt as well. Since it was just the two of us I just used two chicken breasts, instead of a whole chicken, but next time I think I'll use thighs, or something smaller; maybe even just some boneless breasts - the breasts I used were so large that they stuck up way out of the sauce.

I knew that if I didn't use them up this weekend, all the leftovers in the fridge would just go bad in there, so instead of making something special for lunch on Monday, I just made some tacos with some leftovers from earlier in the week. I was really excited about the Asian style meal I had planned. I love spring rolls and was eager to give them a try; the spareribs recipe was something we'd had the week before at my parents, and I called for recipe on Saturday morning.

Sadly, this was my most disappointing meal of the weekend. The spring rolls completely fell apart in the oil, and the wrappers didn't even crisp up - just got gooey. The salmon at least cooked, and didn't come out greasy, but it was just salmon - not spring rolls. Not an appetizer. I tried dipping the salmon in the dipping sauce, and that was not so good. The sauce was simply too strong.

I used a little too much ginger in the dressing for the salad - it simply wasn't what I was going for. Bobby hated the dressing, and opted for blue cheese instead. The spareribs were in the oven too long, so they didn't fall apart the way my mom's did, but they weren't tough either. They tasted okay, but not great. I completely forgot to make the rice. The Haagen Daas Mango Sorbet was the best part of the meal.

I think I will try the Spring Rolls again, but use won ton or lumpia wrappers instead of the spring roll wrappers. I will have to edit the sauce. I was sad though. I had wanted to make wonderful meals all weekend, but alas, my attempts at something new were both lackluster. Perhaps next time...

Thursday, May 22, 2008


We won't be able to got to Europe in August. There are simply too many reasons we shouldn't. The business, ticket prices, the fact that I still have no vacation time saved up. I was holding out hope, but I finally accepted it this weekend - we will just have to wait another year.

It makes me sad, but I have to be a big girl. Hopefully the stars will align for me next time...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mushroom & Leek Soup

Oh, it was so good.

I've always enjoyed Potato Leek Soup on the rare occasion that I have it, but I've never really done anything with leeks before. In fact, I don't recall ever having anything else with leeks. I tried out a recipe recently for Potato Leek Soup, and liked (but didn't love) it. Too potato-y. What I did love, was the smell of the leeks sauteeing in the butter. It was then that leeks joined mushrooms and asparagus in the club of vegetables I'm having a love affair with.

But I had no idea what to do with them yet, so I ran a search on and added a few leek recipes to my recipe box, including Mushroom & Leek Soup with Thyme Cream. How tasty does that sound? Two of my loves in one soup! And it's soup! I love soup!

(Yes, I stole the picture from the recipe... still no replacement camera)
Unfortunately it got hot here. Really hot. Saturday and Sunday were up above 100 degrees. Soup was just not going to happen. But then it started to cool off this week, and today felt cool enough that I may just be able to pull off soup.

I had made sure I had all the ingredients, but I hadn't read the instructions yet. So when I got home from work, I printed out the recipe and started to read through it.

Uh-oh. Apparently I should have started the night before. The Thyme Cream is supposed to chill for at least two hours, and then be brought out of the refrigerator one hour before using it to bring it back to room temperature. Hmm.... I wasn't going to wait. I would try the soup without the Thyme Cream, and make the whole thing another time. (So use your imagination to remove the cream from the picture above, and that is the soup I made :)

Clearly, Bobby and I aren't 8 people, so I had to cut the recipe in 1/4, but I didn't follow that exactly either. I used a little more leek, flour, chicken stock, and thyme than called for. I just happened to have a half a leek left from something I made earlier this week and wanted to use it up, so instead of 3/4 of a leek, I used 1 1/2. I didn't want left over chicken stock, so I just used the whole 16 oz. box, and I upped the amount of flour to 2 tbsp. due to the increase in stock. Since it wouldn't be in the cream, I used a full teaspoon of thyme.

I also didn't sautee the mushrooms and leeks seperately. I guessed they did this so all the veggies could feel the bottom of the pan, but I wasn't making nearly as much. Instead sauteed the mushrooms for 3 minutes, then added the leeks and sauteed another 5.

Okay, maybe I made an entirely different soup. But it was pretty damn good. Bobby's doesn't usually even care for soup, and he even said it was really good. The mushroom flavor was definetly dominant, but I also loved the consistency - from the picture I was expecting clear, brothy soup, but the flour gave it a rich, creamy texture.

I will definetly be making it again, and I'll try it with the Thyme Cream next time. I wonder how it would taste with some shitake and oyster mushrooms...


That's how many flights of stairs I just walked up, and the number of minutes it took my heart to slow back down to a more normal pace.

I work on the ninth floor, which is really the 10th floor because in between the 1st and 2nd floor there is a Maintenance floor. We had a fire drill this morning, which meant walking down the stairs. I had to take it kind of slow, since I'm wearing 4 inch heals and have relatively weak knees to begin with, but down is easy though, right?

I could have waited for the elevator to go back up if I wanted to, but it takes awhile to ferry nine floors of people back up. I could use the exercise too, so I decided to just trek my way up.

Oi, am I out of shape! The last two flights I started wondering if my legs were going to just give out on me, and when I got to the top my lungs actually hurt.

I know. You are wondering if I've kept up on my goal of going to the gym. No. I went three whole times... and then stopped. Early morning seems to be the only time I can get around to it, but my bed is so comfy in the morning it's hard to get out of it.

I am going to go tomorrow though - the company is doing a golf & dinner thing to celebrate the closing of a deal. I'm skipping the golf and meeting them for dinner (I don't pass up free sushi - especially really good sushi). I was wondering what the heck I was going to do with myself until dinnertime, and finally realized it would be a perfect time to go to the gym.

My Cabbage

I really, really wish I had a functioning camera right now. Remember my cabbage? The one growing in my refrigerator that I planted in my garden? It looks like a completely different plant!

After changing from purple & white to a deep, dark purple after one day in the sun and earth, it has turned a greenish-purple color, and has a tall stem coming out the center and a set of greenish-purple leaves forming a bowl around the stem every few inches or so. The whole plant is maybe 2 feet tall.

Wikipedia states that "on acidic soils, the leaves grow more reddish while an alkaline soil will produce rather greenish-yellow coloured cabbages." So I guess I have an alkaline soil.

The structure is much different than I expected. I expected something bulbous and low to the ground - not a tall plant! There are however, what look to be seed pods near the top. Perhaps this is how a cabbage plant finishes it's life cycle; maybe it is going to seed, and what grows from the seeds would be the short bulbous growth I'm expecting...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Grilled Salmon

I feel like I sometimes get into a rut, cooking the same things repeatedly. I've been making a lot of winter dishes lately, and with the weather so nice lately, I felt the need to readjust and think about spring foods. I wanted to try something new.

I wonder what it is that makes us want lighter foods when the weather is nice, and richer foods when the weather is cold. Why do I want a tuna melt and soup in December and a tuna sandwich with grapes in May? It can't just be because of which foods are in season, there has to be something about the way our bodies are affected by temperature that gives us a craving.

It was a nice spring day today, I wanted to find something light and springlike for dinner. Okay, so what's springlike? Bobby's not really picky, except that he has this need to have meat in every meal, and isn't fond of chicken. I can get away with chicken every once and awhile, and he'll eat it, but it's never something he loves. Steak sounded so rich, and I just couldn't get excited about a burger.

I spent a little time looking around Epicurious and came across this recipe: Grilled Salmon Steaks with Lime Butter. Fish - perfect! Hmm... and what to have with it? Something light...I've had a lot of salad lately, so that wasn't too appealing... grilled veggies I think. And something about grilled salmon and veggies makes me think rice.

On my way to the market, Bobby called to say Josh would be joining us for dinner. Unfortunately the fish selection at the markets near my house are pretty slim. No fish steaks of any kind; I was able to find some pretty fat salmon fillets, so that would have to do. Two fillets seemed just the right amount for the three of us.

Instead of mixing the pepper into the lime juice and butter, I just mixed the lime juice and butter, poured it over my fish, and ground the pepper onto the fish. I let it sit a bit longer than just while the grill warmed up; it also marinated while I prepped the veggies before starting the grill.

My veggies were pretty simple - just one zucchini and one yellow squash sliced into thick discs, one red pepper cut in 4 squares, and 6 baby bella mushrooms. I coated them in Italian dressing, making sure the mushrooms had plenty under the caps.

While I preheated the grill, I started some jasmine rice. I figured that it would be nice and light and go well with the fish. I cooked it in a tiny bit of canola oil at first so it wouldn't be sticky, and added a little lime juice to tie it in with the fish. By the time I added the water and covered it up, the grill was ready.

I put the mushrooms on first, since they were pretty fat, and when I threw on the salmon they flamed up pretty high (which I kind of expected with the butter). The flams died down after a minute or two, and I threw on the rest of the veggies. The salmon flamed up again when I flipped them, and once the flames died down I basted them with some of the leftover lime butter from the marinade pan.

By the time I pulled everything off, the rice was just finishing - I love when everything finishes at the same time. Half of a fillet was enough for each plate, with another half left over if anyone wanted. Perfect.

Everything was really tasty, and I achieved the lightness I was looking for. Josh was raving about the mushrooms, in fact he said they were the best mushrooms he'd ever had. The fish was tasty but not over-citrusy, and the rice complemented the others perfectly. The boys ended up splitting the left-over salmon, and all that was left in the end was some rice.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Organizing My Life

I often think that companies should hire me to review their products - kind of like what Tom Hank's character does for that toy company in Big. Reviews from an average, everyday user's perspective. I have a lot of "this would be so much more useful if..." moments, and I so want to share them with the manufacturer/provider that I have actually written emails in the past to Google and others about what changes they could make that I think would make the product better. Some ideas would just be nice, others seem like basics that have been overlooked and are quite frustrating.

For example, I use Outlook for my contacts so I can sync nicely with my Blackberry, and I like to fill out the records completely (contact management was one of the main reasons I wanted a Blackberry so badly). I feel like there are some improvements that could be made, like instead of having just spouse and children fields, you were given the option to select another contact from your contact list.

Right now, if I happen to have a full contact record for say, my brother AND his wife, then I have an calendar entry for their anniversary for EACH of them. If I delete one and alter the other so that it indicates that it is THEIR anniversary - then any time I make any change to either of their contact records, I have to re-make my changes, and delete duplicates. You should be able to define relationships between contacts.

Also, I want to be able to put people's appropriate salutations, middle names (for some reason, I love knowing people's middle names), nicknames, etc. in there, but I don't necessarily want that showing up as the Full Name. In fact, sometimes I want to a record to appear under the person's nickname. I can manually change the "File As" name, but when Outlook makes the entry in my calendar for their birthday or anniversary, I don't want it to display "Mr. John Q. Public, Jr.'s Anniversary" and "Mrs. Jane R. Public's Anniversary," I want it to read "John & Jane Public's Anniversary."

And on the subject of email (admittedly what most people use Outlook for) why does it require so much effort to mark an email as spam in Outlook? You should just be able to click "junk" button. Unless you have a seperate spam filter that has that functionality, you have to junk messages one at a time, right click on the message, select the junk email options, and then select the option to block that sender. Oi... I'm tired. I could create a toolbar for it, but how many people know how to do that? This should be a basic.

I would like if Outlook incorporated the function Gmail uses in organizing emails - I love that emails are grouped with their string. Instead of listing out every single email, each string is listed. I don't know about you, but I wind up with long email strings at work, often about where lunch is going to be that day.

I got a little worked up on Friday and downloaded some toolbars for Outlook: the Xobni toolbar, and the LinkedIn toolbar. If you are constantly looking for some file that someone sent you awhile back, Xobni is awesome. When you are in your Inbox, it displays information about the sender of that email - phone number, frequency of emails, people included on emails between you (in order of frequency), and my favorite, files that have been exchanged via email between you. It doesn't seem to be something I need all the time, but when I do, it saves a great deal of time.

The LinkedIn toolbar just connects my Outlook to my LinkedIn profile. A link is shown for others' LinkedIn profiles, and I can click a button and Outlook will navigate me to my page. It's not something I use extensively, but so far it seems kind of neat.

Google's products have been the target of much of my pseudo-reviews too. I use Gmail to manage my personal email and my email for Bobby's business - but I can't open vCards with it. If someone sends me a vCard, I can't even forward it to my work address so I can open it in Outlook and enter the information into my Gmail contacts. vCards are not proprietary to Outlook either - they are the standard. I'm not sure how Google intends to do well with GAFYD if you can't even utilize vCards.

In fact, I find Gmail Contacts pretty lacking. I do like that you can enter contact information as Work or Home or even another category, but I wish it had more fields, and cross functionality with the calendar. And most importantly, I really, really, really wish I could sync my contacts with Outlook. I so hate having to maintain two seperate address books, and so my Gmail Contact will likely remain out of date.

On the topic of Gmail/GAFYD - syncing with Outlook is such a pain! You can't sync contacts at all, and syncing calendars has only led me to a crashing Outlook or duplicate (triplicate, quadruplicate, and centriplicate - yes, I just made that word up - entries). In Outlook I use categories to organize my calendar entries (and everything else), but in Google Calendar I have to create whole sperate calendars for things to show up in different colors. Syncing that seems to present a problem in itself. I've abandoned Google's Calendar altogether.

Oh, and I signed up for the Blackberry Owners Lounge, because I'm in love with my phone and want more stuff I can put on it - but for some reason they send out their emails in HTML... which I cannot read on my Blackberry. How does that make any sense at all?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Live & Let Live

I don't know about you, but I love red cabbage. I put it in almost every salad I make, although admittedly, I don't make salad's often enough. I almost always have a head of red cabbage in my refridgerator; It seems to last forever - I just cut off the browned bits and shave myself off some.

Last month I pulled out my head of cabbage and found that it had a growth - literally! A new cabbage head was growing out of the center. Inside my refridgerator I was not just storing but actually growing food! This is what it looked like on April 12th:

I've had food grow in my kitchen before - ginger root, potatoes, onions sometimes, but that seemed to happen more often when the food was in the cupboard or drawer. But a cabbage? I considered planting it, but decided I'd just keep it awhile, shaving my bits around the new head. Heck, I would have fresh cabbage all the time!
Yesterday I was cleaning out the refridgerator, and found that my cabbage had tripled in size. I finally decided to let it live, and planted it in my kitchen garden. I buried the base and left the new growth above ground. I started wondering if cabbage was a winter vegetable and needed colder weather to thrive. Had I killed it by taking it out of the cold and planting it in the ground just as the weather was warming up?
This morning I had an answer of sorts. When I planted the cabbage, a majority of the leaves were white with purple tips. After only 1 day in the sun and earth, the whole new head is a rich, deep purple. It seems to be happy in it's new home. I wish my camera were working so I could show you the change...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tasty Eggs

I don't like plain eggs. I'll eat them, because if feels more responsible than a big waffle coated in butter and maple syrup, but in general - I don't like them. Hard boiled is okay, but the rest - eh. If I'm going to eat them, I usually try masking taste with other ingredients, like sauteed onions and red peppers.

I was watching Ratatouille again recently (I know, I'm a little obsessed), and I wondered what Remy put in his omelette. I know it's an animated film, but I also know the Pixar guys worked with a professional chef to develop all the dishes in the film. I'd never had eggs with herbes in them before, and I started wondering what would be good. So I did what I always do - searched the Internet for a recipe to try.

Almost all the recipes said to use "your favorite herbes" which really was no help. One recipe for "Luxury Scrambled Eggs" called for adding cream which I thought might be interesting... I'd tried adding milk before, but never cream. This morning I decided to just give something a try; this is what I did:

I mixed together 1 egg, a little bit of cream (maybe 2 tsp? - I didn't measure), some chopped parsley (maybe 1 1/2 tbsp.?), salt & pepper. In a small pan, I melted a small pat of butter, and threw in the chopped white and pale greens of 1 scallion. After those softened up a bit (maybe 2 minutes), I added the egg mixture. I cooked that for a few minutes longer, mixing it around occasionally. Just before it was finished, I threw on some diced tomatoes and grated a little edam cheese on top.

Oh, it was so good! This is my new favorite way to eat eggs (it actually tastes nothing like plain eggs). Next time I'm going to try adding in some mushrooms as well. It was so beautiful too! (I would have taken a picture but my camera has died for good this time.)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Food Crisis

I came across some thought provoking articles on the global food crisis and on global food production that I wanted to share:

Fresh Air interview: Paul Polak, Tackling Global Poverty His Own Way
Paul Polak, founder of the nonprofit International Development Enterprises, has spent 25 years working to eradicate poverty in Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and other countries in the developing world.
His perhaps-surprising conclusion: Government subsidies for the rural poor often make things worse....

Wall Street Journal Opinion article: Africa Does Not Have to Starve
Rapidly increasing world food prices have already led to political upheaval in poor countries. The crisis threatens to tear apart fragile states and become a humanitarian calamity unless countries get their agricultural systems moving.
Now, with conference committee negotiations over the final shape of the Farm Bill at a critical stage, Congress needs to change the foreign food-aid program and help avert this calamity. The Bush administration has urged, rightly, that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) be allowed to buy food locally, particularly in Africa, instead of only American-grown food....

Local News

I recently added local news to my Google News page, and since I don't get the newspaper it's kind of nice having a way to see my local news.

But today the first news article I saw was not very pleaseant. Just so happens this occured all of two blocks from my house: 17-year-old shot in face in Anaheim

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Green Sympathies

While I'm not a militant environmentalist, I do have some serious green sympathies. For example, I don't think we should legislate to prevent people from buying ridiculous gas-guzzling vehicles (unless there is some justifyable need, like business purposes), but I would encourage eco-friendliness and reserve the right to be judgemental of those that aren't.

I think there are lots of reasons to try to be more eco-friendly. Not just for environmental reasons, but for economic reasons as well. Reducing waste is good in any system, and renewable and sustainable resources are preferential to limited ones. It may cost us more in the beginning, but I think it likely it will pay off in the end.

Driving cars that get better gas mileage only saves me money (and I like that). The more we recycle instead of fill landfills, the less total resources each of us is consuming, and therefore the more people the planet can support (and let's face it the population isn't shrinking). Whether you buy the global warming arguement or not, it certainly won't hurt the environment if we try to be eco-friendly.

Personally, I'm regularly thinking of how I can make small changes in my behavior to be more eco-friendly. Mostly little stuff (recycling most of my trash, starting a compost heap, considering gas mileage when purchasing a vehicle, walking or riding my bike instead of driving on occasion), but I try not to be wasteful. I wish there were better public transportation around here, and would love to one day have a house with solar panels (I realize I would still need outside energy, but love the idea of reducing my dependence).

I came across the article below today, and was excited by the idea. Even if they do not accomplish their goal of carbon-neutrality, I love that they are making a try, and I believe any reduction would be a good thing. I've posted the intro below, but you can click the link to see the rest.

Abu Dhabi Aims to Build First Carbon-Neutral City
by Joe Palca Listen Now [7 min 46 sec]
Morning Edition, May 6, 2008 · In Abu Dhabi, there's an area of nothing but wind-swept desert. But 10 years from now, if all goes according to plan, a city of 6 square kilometers housing 50,000 people will rise in the United Arab Emirates — and it will be carbon neutral.
The project, called Masdar City, will burn no gas or oil, so its contribution to greenhouse gases will be minimal. Masdar is the centerpiece of emirate Abu Dhabi's plans to get into the renewable energy market, a hedge against the day its oil wells run dry....

Monday, May 5, 2008

I'm Out

I have been spoiled with good olive oil.

For the last two years or so I've been able to acquire very fresh, tasty, olive oil direct from Italy. I picked some up on my own trip in 2005, my brother and his wife have brought me bottles when they visit, and my mom brought me back two bottles when she went to Italy in October... and now it is all gone. As far as I know, there isn't any on it's way to me in the near future.

I'm sure I'll pull through, but I found myself saddened when the last of my Christmas bottle was eaten up. I'll go check out the olive oil selection at my local Italian market - maybe they have something fresher than I can get at the market. Or maybe I must now just go to Italy and bring myself some :)