Friday, March 27, 2009

Mustard Tasting

I went to a mustard tasting today. Some gal named Rebecka Weinsteiger got lots of compliments from her friends on the mustards she'd been making, so she thought she'd give it a go.

I have no idea how many of the 6 mustards I got to taste were actually hers (I'm guessing #1 was Grey Poupon), but they were all tasty (except for #4). I know, you can't tell the difference between them - don't blame me, you should have gone to the tasting.

Rebecka was just trying to find out what kind of mustard might sell well in the Corvallis area, and what kind of price she could charge. We don't use a lot of mustard, but I'd plunk down $5-$8 for a jar of artisan mustard once or twice a year.

The tasting had a couple of different kinds of sausage to dip, some pretzels, and a tofu sausage (blech!). There were slices of apple and turnip for cleansing the palette. I first tasted all the mustards on pretzels - so I could get a good idea of the mustard by itself. Tasting them that way, I only really liked #1 and #6 (a classic dijon, and a rustic whole-grain mustard). After I filled out the survey cards I went back and tried the mustards with chunks of sausage - wow, all but #4 were great. Sure the sausage was good, but the combination was very tasty and totally changed how the mustards came across.

I did give Rebecka the tip to drop off a little gift basket of mustard at John & Caprial's up in Portland. On one of their cooking shows they went on and on about their love of mustard, so I hope they find Weinsteiger mustard to their liking.

I look forward to buying a bottle of mustard from her farmer's market stand in May.

Simone is Nearing 3!

It's been a while since the last Simone update.

Too many things.

She is commonly using 8-10 word sentences, such as, "I'm closing the door so Hazel can't get in." It's amazing to be able to communicate with her so clearly. Of course when you most want to be that clear she's not generally in the state of mind to be that clear.

We know for sure she's having dreams because she's telling us about them when she wakes up. Very cute.

She's pretty much weaned from nursing.

Simone loves to read. We read 5-15 books a day. Her favorite character is Maisy, which is a really nice line of books. I also had a little stuffed Maisy doll - that Simone loves.

I'm glad Simone is done with Clifford - I can't stand that dog. What is it with people and big, dumb dogs? Marmaduke, Clifford, Harold the Huge. Those dogs are all incredibly destructive and it's supposed to be funny/endearing? Straight to the pound with them!

Simone is on the fast track to not wearing diapers. There are days where she goes without any accidents. Today happened to be a day with a couple accidents - but it's a learning process. She's doing great. Wearing Elmo panties is a big plus for her.

Always changing, always fun.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Last Psychiatrist: To The Brain, God Is Just Another Guy

I remember hearing the NPR story about the research that concluded God is just another guy. I remember being a little skeptical (anything sciency relating to God raises a red flag for me). But the conclusion didn't seem outlandish, so I accepted it.

I appreciate The Last's analysis:
In other words, the study emphatically does not show that 'to the brain, God is just another guy.' At best, it shows that American 30-somethings are not able to see God as anything other than just another guy; but who knows how 3rd century Romans saw God?

Friday, March 20, 2009

xkcd - 1000 Times, bringing home the point

xkcd raises the same issue that torqued me the other day:

1000 Times

Monday, March 16, 2009


Today the media is all up in arms about AIG and the bonuses paid out to its executives. And while I'm not excited about the bonuses, the math makes me pretty uninterested. Bonuses of ~$165M, compared to bailout funding of ~$170B - which works out to not even 0.1% of the money.

Where was the outrage at Wall Street? Read this:
Wall Street's $18.4 Billion Bonus | "Here’s the bottom line on Wall Street bonuses for 2008—according to the New York State Comptroller’s Office. They’re on track to be 50 percent lower than last year’s. That’s a sharp cut, except that it’s still $18.4 billion."
That's right, $125B in bailout, $18B in bonuses - nearly 15% of the bailout went directly to bonuses. That's over two orders of magnitude difference between the two situations!

Where's the outrage for that?

Hell, the Wall Street bonuses alone are nearly enough to bail out the auto industry. But let's balk at giving the auto industry any money...

I don't understand the judgment call that media makes in what constitutes a story worthy of reporting. We've lost billions in money in Iraq (literally lost, not wasted) - no media outrage. We've spent billions on contracts in the last 8 years under W with no accountability (no idea if it's more cost effective, don't even know how many contracts there are).

Yet losing 0.1% of the bailout money to bonuses is an outrage. I'd be stoked if that were the extent of waste over the last 8 years.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Introducing Hazel

Hazel and Hazel and Simone. Best friends already.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Shining Balls Of Dirt

Also known as dorodango.

Mary and I flipped through the channels the other night for 15 minutes, and pretty much nothing was on - except a Myth Busters where they were seeing if you could, in fact, polish poop. They brought in some dude who practiced the art of dorodango.

It turns out you can make a ball of dirty shiny by just applying finer and finer layers of dust (and smoothing it out).

This guy has some very nice pictures of dorodango.

I can't wait for summer, I'm gonna make some shiny balls of dirt!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Parenting Fail

I saw this and thought, "so true."

Parenting Fail « FAIL Blog

What is it with parents that never pick their kids up? Sure, if you take your kid out of the stroller s/he might want to run around a little bit. You're at the zoo! - it's where kids run around.

Anyway, it's ok to touch your kids, pick them up, hug them. They're not designed to live their first few years in a car seat/stroller.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Say it ain’t so, Joe’s! | King Arthur Flour - Bakers’ Banter

Turns out Trader Joe's is dropping King Arthur flour for their own, branded flour.

King Arthur didn't take that lying down:

Say it ain’t so, Joe’s! | King Arthur Flour - Bakers’ Banter
"So turn about is fair play. If Trader Joe’s is going to put out their own brand of flour, then by gosh, I’m going to put out my own brand of one of their most popular cookies (and a personal favorite): Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s, Oreo clones with a sassy pink peppermint cream filling. Made with King Arthur Flour, of course."

I find it pretty funny. I will have to try the cookies some time, though I didn't like the texture of the Joe-Joe's when i tried them.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Things A Parent Get Excited About

Simone peed in her potty for the first time today!