20130228

Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Fries by mikey and wendy
Sweet Potato Fries, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Here is a favorite new staple for our snack and side dish menu. We simply slice up a sweet potato into 1/2" thick lengths (leave the skin on and do not wash). Then spray with olive oil and sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper. We back at 400F for 20 minutes. Then flip, spray, sprinkle and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy a astonishingly sweet (now that the sugars have caramelized) sweet potato fry.

20130226

Drop Facebook and Imagine Something Beautiful

Drop Facebook and Imagine Something Beautiful by mikey and wendy
Drop Facebook and Imagine Something Beautiful, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
lllustration by Rachel Soloman, excerpted from The Good Life Lab
Doug Ruskoff announced today that he is dropping his Facebook account because, "participation on the site is simply too inconsistent with the values I espouse in my work." His statement prompted me to reflect on my start on Facebook and first introduction to Doug. This summer I asked Doug to write a foreword for my book because of the feelings we share about how people are affected by the commodification of the world.

Intrigued by stories of gathering community I signed on to Facebook. Later when I learned about the site's real goals and my role as a data provider for corporations that Facebook sells my information to, I stayed. Like Doug I saw FB as a tool to promote the book I'd just written.

I met Doug in NYC in 2001. I was Creative Director for a pop-culture marketing company, he had a new book out. We lunched on Avenue B and discussed him becoming my client. I was realizing that my job was inconsistent with my values. I knew I was about to quit so I never tried to close the deal. It was during the frenetic dot com days when the firm recruited me having noticed my work. I produced a variety of events in the city like a Free Mumia benefit, a think tank exploring art and commodifcation of culture, and I did community development that sometimes gave young artists a start. Once part of the firm my creativity was aimed at promoting MP3 players, DJs, trendy magazines, and occasionally a great author like Doug. My job shifted from developing culture to commodifying it. I saw that my life was off course and I quit.

Given that everything I've done since then has been focused on the goal of decommodifying culture, self publishing my book would have been consistent with my intentions. But a first time author I figured a publisher gave me a chance at reaching the mainstream where I might have an affect. With book stores disappearing I chose one with expertise in non-book retail, Storey gets into feed stores and trendy clothing stores like Anthropologie. Meeting art director Alethea Morrison presented the exciting possibility that my book could be art. Then came reasons to print in China, these having to do with details like the book's stitched bind. Each small compromise had a reason. Little by little I moved nearer to being commodified. I thought about how writing a book turns me into a product. When it comes out in June in the pages I ask readers to contemplate the idea that we are the problem and the solution. It is a time of paradox. Mikey and I run a PV solar system that generates clean power. We use the power it creates to run manufactured tools that caused destruction to resources to produce. They aid us in transforming waste into domestic goods that allow us to consume less resource intensive new goods. Problem solution. I'm partly bound by the world I inherited. My interest is in what is being born now, tomorrow's options. The commons and open source are examples of the good thinking of some in our generation. I like facebook, but I wonder why I must be betrayed by it. It's like learning to take poison. Our common sense knows better. What exists tomorrow comes from what is imagined today. We can imagine something beautiful and then build the way to get there.

In the past decade my life has gone full circle. When my book comes out in June I will go on tour. I'll burn jet fuel to get from here to there and eat out instead of making food from my garden. I'll consume in ways I haven't in a long time because it'll be easier to do so while traveling. The day that I signed a contract I detached from my garden and a of projects that I meant to start: a workshop, humanure set up, evaporation pond for hot mineral spring water. I've been clawing my way back to the lifestyle that I wrote about ever since. Now I know that a book is never done. There is editing, art, marketing, distribution, and selling. I get a day even a few to inch back then I'm pulled back into the tornado of business. Too often my gaze is a dead stare into a bright computer screen. A pain in my neck reminds me that this use of my body is not natural. I notice a gap between my life and the life of this world. For a while nature did not seem out there. Under a vast desert sky building a homestead it was a source of wisdom and it was in here. Facebook can't be that. It'll always be out there. I'm not complaining as much as you might think. This is all meaningful to me, a wish fulfilled. A gift, a blessing. I like stating the compromises as I am making them. I've decided that it is OK to make them for the gain of something that matters to me. Being separated from what I learned to love helped me remember the preciousness of what I discovered since leaving the commodified world. Value has been restored.

One day after the book has had its day in the world I hope to follow Doug's lead and quit Facebook. It will be a good day. Meanwhile Mikey and I have been transformed into cute silk screen images that are about to be squeegee'd onto used clothes gathered at Swap-O-Rama-Rama's around the world. People who attend will have prevented those clothes from hitting landfills, they'll reclaim their creativity from industry too, even though many will have driven petroleum burning vehicles to get there. Maybe some of what is learned will shape what is to come. Is it time to revolt against trend as a measure of conformity and trigger to waste still good materials? Is it time for makers to take back the world and refuse to let their creations be diminished by something as cheap and common as money? I sure hope so!

20130224

The New Boombox

The New Boombox by mikey and wendy
The New Boombox, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
With all the smart phones, tablet and laptops being bluetooth enabled we really don't need much in terms of audio equipment in our home. We just switched to using the 16W Supertooth which has a built in battery, amp and speaker. All of our technology talks to it so we can use play all of our audio from any device in the house. If we need to go on the road just grab the Supertooth and it can work in the vehicles and hotel rooms. The built-in lithium battery lasts about 10 hours.

In trying to stick to a model of get rid of something for every thing you acquire, we're hoping to pass on our existing speakers, a nice set of JBLs acquired at a garage sale but less portable and flexible than the SuperTooth.

A Week of Dutch Oven Meals

I'm happy to report that I've found yet another obsession to dominate my attention. Yes, it is the dutch oven and am I impressed with what it can do. I love the toss in some chopped up ingredients and come back in a hour style of cooking. I've only used our indoor stove/oven and outdoor solar oven. No fire pit yet. Here is what we made this week with it.

avocado frittata
brownies
kimchi jigae (stew)
rye bread

Sign of The Times - Handoff of Wealth

We hit a garage sale this weekend and picked up some high end goods that we don't typically see at garage sales, like these chairs we put around our fire pit. This sale seemed to be a sign of the times. It was at a nearby new development that was started well into the housing market collapse and to anyone who was paying attention was destined to fail. Though it never did reach full occupancy, now it is clearing out. One has to wonder who's going to pay for the grounds upkeep, the fancy golf course and club house?

As we drove to the sale we wondered who in the fancy development was breaking the rules and having a garage sale? Most developments like this have rules against them. The garage sale was at the home of the front man for the development and a main investor. He was walking away, and heading back to Colorado. At the garage sale the usual scavengers plucked high end goods for cheap and headed home to sell them on ebay, a handoff of wealth.

As we drove home with our bounty we observed that the trailer parks in town were full as usual. This was noticeable having just come from the semi vacant and half finished development. We talked about how we'd soon use the development's trafficless fresh paved roads to rollerblade and skateboard. Back in town people were walking up and down Main St. and Broadway. The homes in town are comparably cheap and yet it was full of community. The development felt lonely.

This got me wondering about wealthy today. The forms are changing. We go to a lot of garage sales and we can tell when a home is getting foreclosed. For one thing they always have a new car that we reason is because the owners are too cash poor to buy a used one. Like the house, it was purchased on debt. Time runs out on these trades, just like it seems to be doing for these developments.

In town we have something in common with many of our neighbors. We bought an old mess of a lot and fixed it up on money we already had using our own labor and we built out of waste instead of new materials. We skirted debt and in the exchange we gained experiences and knowledge. We won't be running back from where we came with our tail between our legs.

20130221

Video: Best Coffee Making Setup

After years of using a vacuum pots, blade grinders and the occasional french press we have switched to a entirely different setup to making our morning cup of joe.

Aero Press + Burr Grinder + Vacuum Sealer + 175F makes a really nice cup of coffee.

20130220

Holy Scrap Hits the Road - Where Shall We Meet?

Holy Scrap Readers,

If you live in Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Los Angeles or San Francisco, or places nearby, we may be seeing you soon. The question today is, where shall we meet?

If you have a favorite indie book store; hacker space, fab lab or tech shop; community garden; yoga studio; crafting or art space write to me and tell me about it so that I can make it a stop on the book tour now being planned. I will launch The Good Life Lab at the San Mateo Maker Faire May 18th & 19th, then I'm off to Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In September I'll hit New York City and then evaluate what to do next. Mikey will be joining me on a few legs of this tour.

My book presentation is in the style of a lively conversation with storytelling mixed with contemplative techniques meant to help us all dive down deep for the meaning behind what we do and can do. The themes are a match with the facets of my book: gift economy, the role of the maker of things, living the waste stream, the cost of a job, time, skill sharing, wild crafting, our relationship to nature, home manufacturing, imagination, cottage industry, abundance, and value.

Send a note telling us where you'd like to see us! See you soon.

20130217

Last Chance to Prune

Last Chance to Prune by mikey and wendy
Last Chance to Prune, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
I enjoy pruning trees. Though I once nearly killed a dwarf apple tree by over doing it. Some are easier than others. This desert bloom requires clearing the lowest part of the main branches so that is grows more like a tree than a bush. It is already putting on fresh spring growth. Mexican hat, flea bane, lilac, filare, are all sprouting. But I don't consider us past a last frost until the mesquite puts on its first fresh green leaves.

East Spring Garden Beds 2013

Added seed to two more outdoor beds today.

Indoor Seedling Starts

Indoor Seedling Starts by mikey and wendy
Indoor Seedling Starts, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
Near the end of every winter we load up our east window with seedling trays. Wendy helped me mix the soil and I planted a mix of cool and warm crops that like to start indoors. We planted the following in a effort to hedge our bets in case of a late frost at the end of March.

  • kale
  • 2 types of leeks
  • cauliflower
  • cabbage
  • endive
  • broccoli raab
  • basil
  • 3 types of tomatoes
  • 1 watermelon


Indoor Seedling Starts #2Indoor Seedling Starts #3

Farmer Mikey Starts His Seedlings

Mikey and I are not in total agreement about when to start seedlings. I wait till April 15th before putting warm crops in the garden beds. With this in mind I start seeds indoors near April 1st so that I don't have to worry about plants getting root bound in their starter trays. Mikey got us seeding starters now. It could work out, we may get only one more frost. With our cold frames already full of seed there is no where to these early plants but right into the exposed beds. My fingers crossed.

Woodpecker & Friends

Woodpecker & Friends by mikey and wendy
Woodpecker & Friends, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

First I heard it. Then I followed the sound. Yes it was an annual visit from the woodpecker! The sky has been a near traffic jam the past couple of weeks. Flocks have practically buzzed us flying over head. Every morning on our walk along the Rio Grande we see blue heron's and some kind of white crane tip toeing in the shallow water. Osprey are abundant overhead. There are what Mikey calls kootz sunning themselves and red winged black birds are making lovely patterns in the sky above the marsh at dusk. These are just the one's that I can name and I am hardly a bird watcher. I positive love living on a migration path! If our visiting feathered friends are accurate predictors, spring is near.

Junk?

Junk? by mikey and wendy
Junk?, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

I made a pile of what I'd collected to make yard art out of but never did. The question is, is it junk? Hell no! I commit right now to getting these remainders from 2012's dumpsters put to use in the 2013 garden: hub caps, metal drop tops that have been shot at, an old metal table top, and batches of salt cedar.

Thanks for Art! SCAC Annual Party

In small remote towns things that don't work are easy to notice. Local government can border on ridiculous, and well-meaning groups run on volunteerism often crash due to being poorly funded and short staffed. The Sierra County Arts Council stands out. Run by a board whose members stick around for a while, they do exactly what their mission statement says, they bring art to Sierra County. For the size of our downtown, a mile long loop consisting of Main St. and Broadway, we're wealthy in creativity.

Last night SCAC hosted their annual party, it was a blast! Thanks SCAC!

Spring 2013 Garden Progress

We are still planting. Right now we have four 8' x 12' beds remaining to clean and seed. Our main garden area is almost completely populated.

I Love Yard Sales

Man, I Love Yard Sales by mikey and wendy
Man, I Love Yard Sales, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

20130213

Wendy Featured on the Make Blog

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Wendy Tremayne
blog.makezine.com/2013/02/13/5-4-3-2-1-things-about-wendy...

Limor Fried of Adafruit Fireside Hangout with Obama 2/14 4:50 EST

Wendy and I will be watching Limor of Adafruit tomorrow (2/14 - 4:50pm EST) for her Fireside Hangout with Obama. You can RSVP and send in your questions using the links below.

goo.gl/7pxfM
youtube.com/whitehouse

Bok Choy as a Napa Cabbage Substitute for Kimchi

I was really happy to see just how well bok choy works in Kimchi. It is easy for us to grow bok choy in our climate year round, but we have struggled to grow cabbage.

Kitty with a Cape

Kitty with a Cape by mikey and wendy
Kitty with a Cape, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

Our cat Scardy trotted into the kitchen this morning sporting a new cape. It is a plastic bag from the grocery store which he somehow managed to climb into. He looked pretty cool in it.

More Sleeping Pills

More Sleeping Pills by mikey and wendy
More Sleeping Pills, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

When you have crazy projects your brain sometimes will not shutoff. We were both up at 4am trying sleep only to realize we had run out. Wendy ground up some fresh valerian root and combined it with hops and kava kava . She uses the cap-m-quik to fill the gel caps.

Next Generation Manufacturing - Obama State of the Union


Nice to see modern fabrication tools get a nod and potential support for 15 more high tech fab labs during last nights State of the Union. Start at 15 minutes in.

20130211

Smart Drug : Artichoke Extract + Forskolin

Wendy and I have been enjoying a new to us natural stimulant. It is a stacked smart drug mix of 450mg of artichoke extract and 125mg (20% pure) forskolin. We both felt several hours of focus without the usual thought distractions. It does not feel at all like caffeine in terms of being speedy or making us more alert. It provides a clarity that seems to turn down the volume on the usual distracting thoughts that I normally have. You find lots of discussions on-line and pickup both bottles for less than $20 combined. Timothy Ferriss recently popularized this mix by mentioning it in several interviews.

20130210

How Makers, Hackers, and Entrepreneurs Can Save USPS

I enjoyed Phil Torrone's post titled "How Makers, Hackers, and Entrepreneurs Can Save the U.S. Postal Service."In particular his ideas about technology to enhance PO functionality and open more billing avenues.

Wendy and I depend on the post office for e-businesses. We ship daily and are happy with USPS's performance. There are barriers to entry that the post office could repair with only minor changes. Here are my gripes. What would you like to see?
Thoughts pt's post How Makers, Hackers, and Entrepreneurs Can Save USPS by mikey and wendy
Treat volume customers as special. It is time for the post office to consider the usual silver/gold/platinum type program for volume customers. Right now they have no incentive programs for customers that spend tens of thousands dollars a year. Consider airlines and frequent flyer mile programs, or credit card companies that give a percentage back. Even UPS and FedEx have business accounts and deals.

I find it ridiculous that the international tracking is unaffordable. First-Class International and Priority Mail have minimal beyond the US. International mail is so high priced that few makers would use the service. Makers need protection too, this comes through tracking and keeps international customers from demanding refunds on packages that are soon to arrive.

I'd like to see penalties for using the Post Office in person since it demands salaries and the costs to operate buildings. Today there is a small fee for going to the post office.  The fee could be based on the length a transaction takes. Eg. Filling out a international first-class mail slip for a package to Prague costs employee time. Let the uninformed customer pay for the time they need while being pointed towards information about printing labels on-line.

USPS should have an all platform system. They run on a terrible Windows only application. Currently the USPS website does not offer all the USPS services. A shipper can not choose Parcel Select for first-class international packages on the USPS site.  A mac user I have to keep a account with stamps.com to print Parcel Select and First-Class International postage.

Outlaw junkmail. Nobody wants it, it has a cost on the environment and companies have plenty of other ways to broadcast to customers, enough already.

It is easy geeks who ship daily to envision a thriving USPS. When individual households are spending thousands of dollars a year on domestic and international postage how can mail volumes continue to shrink? It might just be that micro businesses manufacturing and reselling goods though venues like Ebay can produce the volume the Post Office needs to thrive.

Wendy & Mikey as Silkscreens Oh My!

Check out these fresh new silkscreen designs made from the cover art on my upcoming book, The Good Life Lab. My publisher's art department came up with them for use as silkscreens at Swap O Rama Rama events around the world. The boy is meant to be Mikey and looks just like him! The one meant to be me looks a little like my friend Jeannie. They're awfully cute, we like them and look foreword to seeing them on a t-shirt walking down the street. Feel free to download them from the Swap-O-Rama-Rama or The Good Life Lab Facebook page and use them as you like.

20130209

First Reader Review - The Good Life Lab Sneaks Out

This week a lovely guy named David popped into my inbox. He had found the Facebook page for my upcoming book The Good Life Lab and Liked it. He sent a note to me telling me he enjoyed the book. He said he had read it in two days and even got up in the night to finish it. My first reaction was, "how did you get it, it's not out yet?" He'd found it in a used book store in Berkeley, Ca. A journalist or sales rep in retail sold off their advance copy, this kinda thing happens all the time.

I was excited to meet the first reader of my book! Today David was kind enough to chat with me on Skype and share his impressions. He told me he picked it up because he liked the cover and unusual bind. The book renewed a desire he had to increase his homesteading activities, reduce his cost of living, become more adept at cooking and do more hands on activities, continue to avoid a full time gig, and seek out more of what makes him happy.  He's also thinking about papercrete. An artist, David has a workshop he is using for a variety of things including to reforming glass. I think he's well on his way!

Back in the Garden - 2 More Beds Seeded

We had a lovely 3 days of gardening during a freakishly warm week for February. Now the winds have kicked and the temperatures are dropping so we are back indoors doing other things. Here is what we managed to get in the ground.

  • yugoslavian red butterhead lettuce
  • salad bowl blend lettuce leaf
  • red velvet lettuce
  • leaf blonde lettuce
  • endive tres fine maraichere
  • broccoli rape (2 types)
  • red dragon carrots
  • red russian kale
  • gila celery
  • burpee's golden beets
  • priztaker leeks
  • giant musselbuch leeks

Back in the Garden - 2 More Beds Seeded #2Back in the Garden - 2 More Beds Seeded #3

Save Those Chives

Save Those Chives by mikey and wendy
Save Those Chives, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
I've been saving the bottoms from all of our store bought chives (aka green onion or scallions). They can go right in the ground and start another round of chives. This is a great convenience as chives don't last so long in the vegetable drawer of our fridge.

Save Those Chives #2

20130206

First Bed Seeded

First Bed Seeded by mikey and wendy
First Bed Seeded, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
We just placed the seed in the first of ten garden beds for this season. I only planted crops that like cool early spring weather. This is in our east bed that receives some shade from our patio.

Compost Looks Good

Compost Looks Good by mikey and wendy
Compost Looks Good, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
I'm always surprised when our compost is thriving at the end of winter. Our worms are happy in their bins and the tumblers have a deliciously sweet smell. I've been adding leaves from last fall to help dry it out and lighten up the compost.

Compost Looks Good #2

Coconut Sesame Chicken - thx Tim Ferriss

Another delicious meal that we learned from The 4-hour Chef. Last night we made and ate coconut sesame chicken with asparagus, garlic aioli and our own carb addition of baked potatoes. It was just the kind of comfort food you want to enjoy on a cool winter night.

Dam Open?

Damn Open? by mikey and wendy
Damn Open?, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
We live about 5 miles from what was once a enormous lake with a huge dam. Usually the dam is run for irrigation purposes for the spring to fall grow season. The other day it must have been opened for maintenance purposes as it was running in early February.

20130204

Make Your Own Herbal Smoke

Wendy Tremayne explains how to make a aromatic alternative to tobacco is a recreational smoking mix blend that contains: mullein (wild harvested), and organic chamomile, hops (organic), mint, lobelia and marshmallow.

goo.gl/kYuHD

20130203

Sealed Lead Acid Battery Recovery



I must have burned out two dozen lead acid batteries before I learned that they could easily be opened, refilled with water and then recovered. This short video explains the process step-by-step.


A Technically Accurate Cup of Java

Mikey is prone to fetishs. I remember one that I learned about at the Albuquerque airport. I had been flying all day and was starving. I fasted rather than eat airport junk. Mikey picked me up. When I got in the car he handed me a mock tuna roll he made using sun flower seeds and announced, "we're going raw." We did. It was great, fun, fine, but in that moment I was less than thrilled.

For a short while Mikey was sure he'd give up sleep. "A waste of time!" he'd say while exploring a bizarre variety of alternative methods like sleeping here and there a few times a day, in two hour fits. He reminded me that the best ideas a person will ever have come before they reach their mid 40's. He was not going to waste a minute! When I told him I found sleep luxurious, luscious and wonderful, he balked. I treasure my dreamy states, the neither neither feeling of waking. I try to stretch it for half an hour. The sleep fetish came from Ray Kurzweil. Mikey gave up on it after a few weeks and right about the same time I passed on something I read, that our bodies clean our blood while we sleep.  One might get blood poisoning by giving it up.

We both went fetish bonkers by following a paleo experiment where we gave up soap. It was kinda nice to get off all those products and chemicals. Our bodies loved it, we learned that water is more than we thought it to be. It is cleansing and purifying. I couldnt get over the oiled dread lock paddle that kept trying to form out of my hair and gave it up.

This week Mikey is all about coffee. A very technical cup of coffee made by managing temperature, grind, and process to the detail. The Aero press we use for tincture making finally gets its day with the bean! He picked up the method in Tim Ferris's new book the 4 Hour Chef. I give some TF credit, by speaking Mikey's language (tech speak and a flair for fetish) Mikey's been cooking up a storm. On the flip side a cup of coffee takes much longer to make and since its so labor and time intensive I get only a half a cup. Mikey tried to hide this fact on me by switching me to a smaller mug. I grew suspicious. It is true, the coffee tastes better when steeped at the right temp, the bean ground with a bur grinder. Lets see if the process sticks over time. That's always the ultimate tell of ideas worth keeping.

20130202

Praise for Da Pimp from Australia

A happy battery recovery customer had some nice things to say about using our Da Pimp kit.

"Thanks for putting together this truly brilliant kit. Da PIMP has been more successful than I'd expected, and we've been scouting for new challenges for it to take on. To date we've brought back from the dead lead acid batteries from cars, a boat, a caravan, an alarm system, and even one that had been sitting in the weather for several years; it's recovered power tool, rechargeable lamp and camp batteries and, probably my greatest surprise, a 1500mA LiPo registering 0V from a non-working solar USB/phone charger. We're looking at "dead" batteries in a new way now."

Praise for Da Pimp from Australia #2

A Better Third Hand

A Better Third Hand by mikey and wendy
A Better Third Hand, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.
When beginners start to solder they immediately realize they need a raised alligator clip to hold the wires. I'm not sure how the ridiculously clumsy metallic third hands they sell at Radio Shack came to dominate the market. They totally suck do to their price, weight and desk space needs. I started using this little roll-up orange guy from All Electronics and will not being going back to the metal monstrasity.

Best $4 Kitchen Tool : Reptile Feeding Tongs

Giant tweezers designed for feeding insects to reptiles will change your life in the kitchen. These also came out of The 4-Hour Chef and have changed the way I serve kimchi, flip tempeh and in general pick stuff out of small containers.

Outlaw Again - Legal Herb Banned by Web Merchandisers

Since I was little girl many times I found myself standing outside the law. Not that I have a special homing device that takes me there. Often it is the only sane place to stand.

A recent event reminded me that even when I'm inside the law, the law can push me me out of its margins. In our Holy Scrap store we sell a plant extract called Mormon Tea. We wild harvest it and make an alcohol extract. It is legal. The same plant genus produces an Asian variety that is not legal. In spite of the fact that the variety that we sell is legit, Google, Ebay and Etsy have banned our product because the family name is the same.

Folks who use this medicine for asthma, weight loss, and as a stimulant can not find it or us. Parents who have successful taken their kids off of Ritalin by replacing it with this far safer plant extract, search but can not find it.

Sigh.

New Coffee Grinder

New Coffee Grinder by mikey and wendy
New Coffee Grinder, a photo by mikey and wendy on Flickr.

I've been reading the 4-Hour Chef this week by Timothy Ferriss. The book has convinced us to purchase a number of new widgets from dish towels to a garlic press. The garlic press is back ordered until March due to the popularity of his book (#42 on Amazon). I particularly like the coffee grind produced by the Hario MSS-1B mini-mill. It's a hand crank burr grinder which makes perfectly uniform coffee grounds. We combine with the aeropress which we already had been using for tinctures to make a damn good cup of coffee.

Recovering with a Friend

Sesame and Wendy both need a few days to recover. Sesame sliced her paw up while playing at the park the other day. Wendy has a funny walk and hip pain which might have been caused from bowling. They both need a few days to get better so they can walk without pain.