Fri, 28 Aug 2009

On the Unknotting of Shoes, pt 1

Problem Statement: on the pair of shoes I conventionally wear for day-to-day activities, my right shoe has a tendancy to become unknotted frequently, while the left shoe has not, in my memory, ever became unknotted. Both shoes are tied with the same knot.

Hypothesis: the lace on my right shoe is responsible for this unknotting.

Experiment: swap the laces between my right and left shoes.

Posted at: 21:24 | category: /science! | Link

Thu, 13 Aug 2009

Vegetable Stew with Rice and Lentils

Earlier this week I had wanted to try making a rice and lentil dish another bike polo player had described, but summer weather had finally turned hot and I didn't feel like heating up the kitchen (or, really, do anything I couldn't do in the little air-conditioned cage I have in my apartment). I turned to the greatest invention of all times, the crockpot, and this is what came out.

I have a six quart crock pot, but none of the stuff in this recipe is really measured, so just wing it. Crank the crock pot on high. Dice up one onion and three cloves of garlic, put in the pot. Slice up six carrots and six stalks of celery (plus all the inner leaves of the celery bunch) and throw those in. Slice eight ounces of mushrooms and throw those in. Throw in a can of diced, no-salt-added tomatoes (if you have fresh lying about, one or two tomatoes diced will do). Add about 1.5 cups each of lentils and rice. Put in 1 quart of vegetable broth (again, I use the low sodium stuff), and then add enough water to well cover every thing. Stir.

When everything is good and bubbling, turn the crock pot down to its lowest setting. It only takes a few hours to cook, stir occasionally or the rice and lentils will clump and stick (then again, I left this going on "warm" overnight and it came out fine). I added water occasionally as liquid evaporated away, do so to your liking. You can tell when everything is done, the rice will expand and release a bunch of starch, which will make everything nice and thick. When it was done I threw in a few tablespoons of Bragg's liquid aminos (soy or tamari sauce would work as well) and a couple dashes of liquid smoke. Do this to taste.

This tastes even better when you leave it in the fridge for a day.

Posted at: 11:52 | category: /food/2009 | Link

Sun, 02 Aug 2009

Don't even *think* about stealing my bike

Yesterday I was over in Ann Arbor, helping out with the Pedal Poker Run. I drove to and from the event, and as I pulled into my driveway this morning, I though "I'll just leave the bike strapped to the rack...."

So, around 4:30 this morning I was woken up by someone pounding mightily upon my front door. I stumbled awake, grabbed my robe, and as I was aproaching the door I heard "Ypsi Police" On the stairs outside of my door were an Ypsi police officer and Freddie, one of my downstairs neighbors. The officer asked if I had a bike and asked me to describe it, then said someone had taken it, which my downstairs neighbor heard and called in.

I learned afterwards from Freddie that he had heard a noise coming from the drive way, which he thought was a raccoon, but when he went to their living room and looked out the window discovered was some guy taking the bike from the rack on my car. He called the cops and after telling them what happened he got put on hold and then was told "Okay, we think we've got the guy"

I get dressed and come downstairs. A cop car pulls up after a couple minutes, and Freddie is let out and the cop tells me to get in. Ypsi police cars, by the way, have hard plastic seats in the back, not an upholstered seat. We go up to Summit, two blocks west of my apartment, where there are a couple other cop cars guarding my bike, which is laying in the easement along the side of Summit. I tell the officer "Yep, that's my bike", and I'm thinking that the sucker who took it probably isn't used to a fixie with a just fixed and still touchy front break, no wonder he didn't get very far. Another officer asks me how much it's worth ("A couple hundred bucks") and if it was locked in my garage ("No, just strapped to the back of my car and tied on"). I think he was disapointed and was hoping they could charge the dude with something more than what they had, alas.

The cop takes me back to my apartment and gets a report from both Frankie and I, and another officer brings back my bike, which I decided I should store inside. Thankfully, nothing is damaged on it other than the little plastic cover over the stem adjustment bolt missing.

Moral of the story: don't leave your bike strapped to the back of your car. And don't fucking touch my bike unless you want justice, Ypsi-style.

Posted at: 05:24 | category: /bicycle/2009/08 | Link