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elsparquito

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And we're back... Apr. 18th, 2009 @ 03:56 pm
We're finally back after our two weeks in Hawaii. This was a really nice vacation - a very easy vacation. We started off with a week on the Big Island, touring around and staying in B&B's and cheap motels, mostly being frugal. Then we went to a resort on Kauai for a week to really kick back and lounge around without having to pack, unpack, and get acquainted with a new room every couple days.

The second week was our taste of luxury, thanks to my parents who took care of our accommodations that week. It was nice to live "the life" for a week, with a big pool, A/C in the room, a view, and nice grounds with a pool and four hot tubs.

Now we've got the weekend to "recover" from our vacation and clean this place up! We've got so many empty boxes to deal with, laundry to do, the yard to clean up, etc.

status update: Lihue Apr. 10th, 2009 @ 08:04 pm
After a week of circling the Big Island of Hawaii, we're now in Lihue on Kauai. We were doing the Big Island on the cheap, going between B&Bs and cheap motels, experiencing all that the low end of Hawaii had to offer. Kauai is different - we're in a nice place for a week and we're going to do some more relaxing and try out the luxury side of Hawaii.

The resort we're in has everything you could ever want but at ridiculous prices. This is the land of $20 breakfasts and $40 pesto pasta dishes. Not for us! Our room has a mini-kitchen with fridge, dishes, and microwave! After hitting the farmer's market, Costco and the grocery store we've made a $140 investment in food and alcohol. Lots of fruits, some milk and cereal, a bottle of rum and a bottle of tequila, and plenty of fruity mixers and we're set. I just can't pay $12 for a fruity rum drink!

We took some nice photos on the Big Island but the weather was very grey most of the time and we were on the move a lot. This island is much smaller and we've got it a lot easier than before so with a little cooperation from Mother Nature we might get some more photogenic sights and not be so tired.

I could get used this lifestyle!

One thing I love about our house Mar. 3rd, 2009 @ 08:52 am
There are lots of things that I love about our house but the thing that comes to my mind on these blustery stormy days is how comfortable our house is when it's cold outside.

This may sound like a simple little thing, but I haven't really lived in a house that was well sealed with working central heat since I moved out of my parents' place to go to college. Even in houses that supposedly had central heat and air, I always seemed to rent the room that was the add-on and never really got warm enough in the Winter or cold enough in the Summer. This is really quite a nice luxury!

I'm not saying that our house is the most efficient, and I'm not saying the place is totally airtight - I'm just saying that I don't sit around and curse the construction or the roomies or the heating system.

I love my 100 year old house!

In Tahoe Feb. 21st, 2009 @ 06:04 pm
I'm in Tahoe, and I'm wiped out after two long days of playing in the sun and the (iced over) snow. I'm ready for dinner, a massage, and winning a couple thousand in poker at the casino tonight. (One out of three ain't bad, is it? Oh wait...)

I took some photos on today's 5 mile snowshoe adventure but I don't have the energy to look at them yet..

Stormy day here, snowing in Tahoe Feb. 15th, 2009 @ 01:02 pm
It's a pretty stormy day here today and it's also storming in Tahoe! I'm going skiing Friday so I'm happy about this! I got out the ski boots and the clothing and started sorting and packing.

Yay snow! Yay skiing! Yay for winter to still being here!
Other entries
» Contrasts in food
I've been reading Michael Pollan's "In Defense Of Food" for the last week or so and it rails against processed foods and especially refined carbohydrates pretty hard. And so I just spend an afternoon making pasta.

Take That!, insulin regulation system!
» making ice cream with lecithin
I've been working on the vanilla ice cream recipe again and this time I'm adding some lecithin to keep things smooth and creamy. (I don't want to use eggs and I don't like custard-style vanilla) I've never cooked with lecithin before but I picked up a lifetime supply of lecithin granules at Whole Foods and tried to dissolve them in the cooking phase but I ended up with a goopey mess.

Here are some pages I found about ice cream and lecithin:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3301/is_n6_v97/ai_18521795
https://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/archive/index.php/t-61839.html
http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/ice_cream.html

Have any of you cooked with lecithin?
» Went to MacWorld yesterday. Field trip!
I went to MacWorld yesterday instead of going to work and I had a pretty good time. I took CalTrain up which always makes me feel like I'm on a school field trip or something. Doing something out of the ordinary on a workday when everyone else is doing their normal thing is fun. Being on the train and looking at the back sides of everything is also fun.

MacWorld was just OK. The real educational sessions were all done by Friday so the only thing left to do was wander the show floor. Even though it's a Mac-oriented tradeshow there were a ton of photography-related businesses there. I got to play with a couple things in person that I hadn't seen at any stores around here. LensBaby was there. Eye-Fi was there. Mpix was there. Canon and Nikon both had large booths. (I played with the new 200mm f/2.0 lens and also the dual-headed macro flash.)

After MacWorld I browsed the photo books at the Museum of Contemporary Art which is only a couple blocks away. Then I walked down to the waterfront and wandered around there a bit, making my way behind AT&T park and back to the CalTrain station for the ride home. The old Coast Guard cutter Fir was moored at one of the piers and that was interesting to catch a glimpse of.

After my train ride we went to Vahl's to sent Gabe off to Google in fine Alviso fashion. That place is a trip, and I'm glad it's still going strong. Then to dinner and a drink at The Hut, which is NOT a trip, and seemed pretty dead.

Overall, quite a day!
» make soda water at home
We stopped by Bryan and Kathleen's house for New Year's and they introduced us to the home carbonator, as seen here: http://www.sodaclubusa.com/default.htm

I think we're going to get one because it seems just so cool. We were wondering if it could carbonate chocolate milk. I wonder if that's even a good idea...
» Our utility poles got fumigated!
This is what passes for excitement around here: The utility poles on our street got fumigated this week!

Erin mentioned that some truck had been by to dig around the poles and I noticed that they had drilled some holes into the poles and plugged them, and put a new inspection tag on them that looks a lot like this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/false_profit65/2470308503/

So don't go eating any vegetables grown in the dirt around your utility poles, OK?
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