Saturday, September 29, 2007

Entertainment Week, Conspicuous Consumption, and Miscellany.

Em's going back to work at the end of next week, so we tried to concentrate on just having fun this week. We caught that Jodie Foster movie and enjoyed it. Drove up to Oklahoma for a day of gaming, and actually came home with more money than we took by some magnitudes for cheapskating gamblers. That was icing on the cake for us, because we just assume that $40.00 each is the price we pay for 9 hours of entertainment there. In the gaming department, I spent $20.00 on a PC game (my first) called "Cradles of Rome". I'd been playing the demo version (to my frustration), No. 3 advised me AGAINST buying this game, and I bought it anyway. No matter how much I try and how much time I throw at it, I haven't been able to get beyond level 3 or 4. The game has 100 levels, so I think I've got the game that'll see me through the rest of my life. lol.

Went out to dinner and a play. "FEED ME!" (giggle)

Em's grandson was selling the DFW Entertainment Passbook through his school, so we had coupons for dinner AND the play. One evening out paid for the book. Thanks again, Steff! We were gonna go to the American Airlines Center last night to listen to some free jazz outdoors, but we did a lot of grocery shopping yesterday and didn't really feel like it AND we couldn't bring any food/drink into the Center. THAT turns "free" into "need to buy a water" after a few hours and I didn't want to buy a water. No.1 gave us some reusable water bottles that she got free at school. Here they are, pictured with my "prize" canteloupe and a few cucumbers from the garden (BOTH volunteers from last year's planting). I'm meeting new neighbors giving away cucumbers lately when my "regular customers" aren't home.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There's free jazz again Monday evening at UTA; their faculty is playing. Wednesday is "Drinking Liberally" again, and Thursday I'd like to attend a free landscaping class that our city offers. It's all over Friday, as Em goes back to work for two months.

I'm just about out of the "propellant"-sprayed oil (FINALLY...dang, that stuff lasts a long time!). Bob and Judy introduced me to their method last year, and it's definitely more environmentally conscious, so I've ordered one of these for No. 1, No. 2, and myself. It's not as easy to use as the stuff with the propellant, but if you think ahead to "I need to lift the pan so that I spray in a forward motion rather than a downward motion" and "I need to release the pressure on the nozzle when I'm done so the thing doesn't clog" and OF COURSE read the instructions on how the thing is only supposed to be filled HALFWAY or LESS, problems SHOULD be minimal or nonexistent and you never need to buy the "propellant" sprayed oil again. Just wash and refill.

Speaking of washing and refilling, if you're not yet to the point of using vinegar and baking soda for all your cleaning needs (Em still craves commercial glass cleaner), refills exist that are more environmentally friendly. Coupons are also available for those environmentally friendly refills fulfilling my cheapskating requirements.

Last in the conspicuous consumption department for me this week is THIS. My last visit to Illinois included No. 2 and I attending her gym and then stopping by a health bar to get juice. I think (like I can remember that far back) that we both got some protein-laden juice drinks and (in addition) No. 2 got a shot of wheat grass juice. So, I was reading Chile Chews one day and realized that I have wheat berries in my cupboard and could grow my OWN wheatgrass. Really, I'm just envious that Aunt Claire jumps over fences and I've never really thought about jumping over a fence (if I could FIND a fence), but... HEY... I wouldn't mind going bionic, too! So, I'm gonna try some of this juicing, and (by default) Em's gonna try some of this juicing, too. (smile). The dry pulp will go on the compost pile.

Last in the other department today is buying from China. When Lucky (my mom) was alive, she'd cringe at the thought of buying anything that wasn't made in the USA, but it's gotten to the point where it's pretty difficult to buy things made ONLY in the US, so we kindof (if we're channeling our mothers and/or entertain even the slightest jingoism) need to decide what countries we'll support and which ones we won't. I think OXO makes the cutest cooking things, but I refuse to buy their stuff because it's made in China. Yesterday, we went to Albertson's (one of three stores this week) with the thought of buying (for one thing) tilapia. "From China"? An Asian woman (customer in front of me) was the first to mention to the butcher that she didn't want to buy tilapia if it was from China. I was primarily interested in the chicken sale and asked if the chicken had been imported from China, too. The butcher marked down some tilapia (frozen in bags) to the price of the "from China" stuff because "We want you to come back." SHEESH! I forgot I need to separate and rewrap that chicken today. Later...


Chile said...

Any roots on your wheat berries yet?

Oldnovice said...

Any roots on your wheat berries yet?

Haven't started the beans soaking yet because I don't have a firm grasp on my setup. Read a lot about it yesterday morning, though, and I'm contemplating using those clear plastic boxes that house grapes, strawberries, etc. in the grocery produce section. They're 7" x 5"
x 4" deep, and I have several (usually use them to keep my garden crops off the ground); they have drainage holes in the bottom, air holes at the top, and a lid that snaps shut. I need to buy pieces of somewhat rigid screen, stones (which offends my cheapskating side) and spray paint.

The boxes (at least the lids) will be painted so that light can't enter. The screen will be set atop the open box, soaked beans laid atop the screen, rinsed in place and lid closed until roots start, at which time half the box will be filled with stones, remainder with soil, and the whole thing soaked until I'm sure the settled soil comes in contact with
the screen. Once photosynthesis gets underway, the lid will remain open and the box will serve to hold the "field" of grass. Four or five boxes should provide a nice rotation of grass in different stages of development, I think. Unless, of course, my plan stinks and the whole thing fails. Whatcha think?

The first kink could be that the wheat berries from Whole Foods don't sprout. If they don't, the whole experiment must wait for my thoughts to be complete on my Walton Feed order. I need a bunch of things for baking, but it's been so hot that baking hadn't moved up on my "things to do" list. I guess it has now though, huh?

In other news:

I'm now a Peasant in Cradle of Rome, having moved up to Level 5. Probably take me another 2 weeks to move beyond that. lol.
Em agreed yesterday that it'll last my lifetime with 100 levels. Microsoft could go bankrupt before I win this game.

The UTA jazz faculty recital last night was great, too, and well worth the money (FREE!)

No. 2 said...

Well, I'm glad that I had some sort of influence on your gardening! That would be a nice treat for me even if you had wheat grass when I came next to visit!

Also, Jenny thinks that you secretly work for a Vinegar company because of all the emails about the uses of vinegar. Every time she is talking about cleaning something, I ask, "Did you try using vinegar?" I did use the baking soda/vinegar mix to clean out the drains. It seemed to work pretty good except our shower is already ready for another dose.

On my side, everything has been pretty hectic between school and work and the new guy. I'm on his PC right now while he is playing guitar in the living room. Speaking of guitar, I might have a GREAT idea for a Christmas present for No. 1, but I don't want to spoil the surprise, if in fact it can happen. That's still under construction.

But sorry for my absences on emails and such. I've been trying to atleast keep up with reading emails at school, home, or where ever I can get a PC. I just don't seem to have time to respond to much. My "to do" list seems to be growing by the day. But that's life, right?


Oldnovice said...

Good to see you on the blog, No. 2. I know time is at a premium; it is with ALL my children. Just saw No. 1 for a short Boggle yesterday for the first time since July. Expect a little package next week; have a few things to send off.

In other news, the plan changed for the wheat grass setup slightly, and the process is moving forward at such a pace that I might have photos in a few days. I'm now a Merchant in Cradle of Rome, but my mouse is getting "tight", so I need to clean the rollers before I frustrate myself with the game again. Em wants to go to Oklahoma today for the other gaming we do; not sure if we'll go today or tomorrow since we got up way too early today.

#3 said...

How do you get wheat berries?

Does wheat grow them when it gets big enough?

Oldnovice said...

You bring a little paper bag to Whole Foods and scoop them from their bin into your bag.

I'm not a farmer and if I were, wheat wouldn't be one of my crops, so I'm not sure how the berries fit into the whole life cycle. Next step in my process, though, is to get a grain mill and make my own flour. I have notes on that purchase, but then spent the money I'd intended for it on getting my cavities fixed and now on fruit plants. Sometime this winter, I would think I'll get around to that.