Results filed under: “do”
Let me tell you what's awesome.
Not the stuff in bags. The stuff in bags is for dilettantes, for casual tea drinkers, for those who have not yet reached a state of Teavana.
And it's not hard to make. It's pretty easy, actually.
Dear friends and family,
As you may have guessed, I'm typically a big fan of giving and receiving presents at Christmas. However, this year, Suzi and I are asking that you do not buy us anything. Please consider the following:
Suzi and I are spending a not insignificant amount of money on plane tickets to fly from Houston back to the Northeast to spend this Christmas with you. Therefore, we do not feel that we can take on the added expenditure of Christmas presents. So, if you buy us presents, we will have nothing for you. That will make us feel bad. Specifically, it will make the Suze feel terrible, and if the Suze feels terrible then we ALL feel terrible.
Houston is warm. Right now it is 70 degrees out. The Northeast is cold. Last I heard, it was actually a frozen hellscape of ice and snow and death. Therefore, we will be packing bulky sweaters, jackets, coats, hats, mittens, scarves, thermal underpants, boots, and possibly blankets. Also, we do not want to check our bags. Our bags will be completely full. There will be no room to pack the presents that you should not buy for me. I will have to leave them behind.
And, finally: the task of instructing all of you to not buy presents has been given to me by Suzi. If you buy us presents, it means that I have failed. Please do not make a failure out of me. The best present you can get me is to not get us presents.
Thank you, and I love you all.
Take it from me: Judy is a man who knows his pie.
Here is how Judy makes his apple pie.
Yes, PB&J is delicious, but my motives are environmental.
Global warming and carbon emissions are sexy these days. Global warming wins Oscars and Nobel peace prizes. Melting ice caps leave us with fewer adorable polar bears. And, yes, there is the outside chance of cold chasing down the halls of the New York Public Library before Dennis Quaid can rescue us.
But here's the thing: global warming is not the problem, it is a symptom. The fundamental problem is a lack of sustainability. Any activity that relies on fossil fuels is inherently unsustainable, because you cannot infinitely use a finite resource. Put another way: there's only so much stuff, and once you use all the stuff, there ain't no more. So you gotta find a way to not use it in the first place.
Transportation gets much of the global warming press. Every news story about global warming has the stock footage of a traffic jam as seen through the hot, wavy air coming off the pavement. There's something about the price of gas moving up and down that seems to drive people insane. But in reality, transportation is only a part of the picture when it comes to a sustainable world.
People use energy the same as cars do. And just like cars, if the fuel that we use comes from an unsustainable source, then eventually we will be unable to find the fuel to keep us going. Which, finally, brings us back to the peanut butter and jelly.
Do you love music? Do you love music enough to spend three days in the endless Texas sun?
If not, you have no soul and should seek help, perhaps from gypsies. But for those of us less humanity-challenged, every year there's the Austin City Limits music festival. Spun off the legendary 34 season TV program with the same title, it's a nonstop, genre-independent orgy of sweat, song, and insobriety. With eight stages, there's between two and four bands playing at any given time, and the real challenge is trying to squeeze in seeing everyone you already know you want to, to say nothing of the myriad new bands you'll fall in love with.
I'm not quite self-absorbed enough to think anyone actually cares to read about everyone who I saw or detailed reviews, so instead I'll just discuss one of the neater green ideas they had. In addition to the usual overpriced t-shirts, they had even more expensive 'green' shirts with unique designs. However, money wasn't the only way to get one. You could get one for free by redeeming a full trashbag full of recyclables from the festival grounds. The end result: for probably 150 dollars worth of shirts they had a huge team of volunteers circling the park like vultures, pouncing on litter the instant it hit the ground. It got annoying at times since holding a beer in your hand turns you into a magnet for collectors, but it kept the grounds staggeringly clean. Particularly important since there are really only a few hours of daylight in the morning to clean before the doors opened at 11.
Recommendations past the jump...
Tired of waiting for the electric car that you won't be able to afford anyway? Wanting to start biking around town, but daunted by the distances, physical exhaustion, and buckets of awkward sweat? Ladies and gentlemen, your chariot as arrived
That, my friends, is an electrical-motor assisted bicycle.
With a twist of the handlebar, the 400 W motor on the back wheel hub scoots you forward at a top speed of 20 miles per hour for up to 20 miles. Want to extend your range? Save the battery and give it a little pedal every now and then.
I racked up nearly 2000 miles on my old bike when I was commuting in
the northeast. When I moved to Texas, I was confronted with two
problems. First, it is pretty much hot as balls here all the time.
It's almost October, and its nearly 90 degrees outside right now. And
second, there are no shower facilities at my current place of
employment. So, I could either show up for work covered head to toe in
sweat, or drive and be covered in shame. Unpleasant as shame is, it
smells much better.
1. Football! High school football, college football, NFL football, pee-wee football, fetus football, geriatric football, and futbol.
2. Central time! All those shows that say 8/7c? Well we're in the 7c! All your favorite shows are on an hour early. No more waiting until 8 o'clock for prime-time to distract you from paying attention to your spouse. Haha, actually I'm kidding. I start watching TV as soon as I get home anyway.
4. Give me a second...
5. Tornadoes! Those are exciting...
Please don't leave me here by myself. They put the state of Texas on everything. EVERYTHING. You saw the waffle, right? It's like that, but everywhere. You have to drive 15 miles to get to a Dunkin' Donuts. And why is everyone so goddamned friendly? It's really freaking me out. What do you want from me, guy at the rental car counter? Just give me the car! Aaaauaaaaghgh!
7. Oh, they have a really awesome highway system here. Really great. Yeah.
With apologies to argentine tango, it is softball season. This year its the M&M Softball League in Central NJ.
When I first started playing softball, it was in a co-ed arc league for a team called the Aggies. The league was the New York State Employees League, and the Aggies were one of the teams fielded by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets - yes, the NYSDAM had two teams; the other one was called the Farm Team. More puns!
For anyone wondering, the best team in the league was fielded by the New York Thruway Authority - go figure.
This a league for former high-school jocks who couldn't cut it at the
college level. Maybe in a year or so I'll graduate to the Perth Amboy
league, with legit former athletes (some guys in that league played
minor league ball). In my old league, the elderly woman who played short field once got hit right in the face with a pop fly she failed to catch, and we had to call an ambulance and the fire department. So this is a step up.