Saturday, January 31, 2015

Drought in California UPDATE

I was reading about the drought in California, (warning link has strong political stance and I am a centrist), and I decided on a lifestyle change. Mind you, Seattle does not appear to be short of water, I was just shoveling snow a few minutes ago, this is solidarity. The two changes are sea showers and washing some of my clothes in the shower since I am using that water anyway. A sea shower is when you turn the water off while you are soaping/shampooing yourself and turn it back on to rinse.

It is snowing again. The "kind to plants and concrete" de-ice formula I bought is not able to keep up so I picked up the shovel. I do it in fifteen minute increments since middle aged guys like me succumb to heart attacks shoveling snow. Today is an arms exercise day anyway, so this can be my exercise. No big deal there.  Today is Compassion Sunday at church, so I drove Kathy to the 8:00 AM service in the Toyota Tacoma 4wd. BTW, I have one of the fairly rare long beds, but now that the raid boat is in the garage, it is a really tight squeeze, if anyone has a great condition short bed and wants to talk about a trade, I am open.

During the cold snap the lake froze. Gosh that was pretty. It was also interesting to note that the ducks and geese tend to stay in sections of the lake that are not frozen. I guess it is a problem even for ducks to get trapped under the ice.

Apparently the folks in California are still suffering. I am currently in Hawaii, (Kauai), and while it hasn't rained much since I have been here they do not appear to be suffering. The reservoir off Kuamoo looks like it is happy. California declared a state of emergency in January 15. 2015.

Still taking Navy style "sea showers" and washing some of my clothes in the shower since I am using that water anyway. One advantage to this is socks. Have you ever wondered what happens when you send your socks to the washing machine and dryer and out of every twenty five pair or so, you end up with one sock of a former pair. This solves that problem.

Just watched a NASA video talking about mega-droughts. They expect them to happen in parts of the American West. The kicker? They can last for 30 years or longer. In fact, a mega-drought is what probably destroyed the Mayan civilization. The current 3 year drought has cost California 1.5 billion dollars in agriculture as well as impacting what farmers grow. Wheat, corn and cotton prices may go up. One of the really big current concerns is that as the fresh water aquifer in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is deplenished, there may be salt water incursion that could contaminate the water supplies of Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara county residents, Delta residents and the 25 million Californians who rely on the Delta-based federal and state water projects.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

WA State redsdents: All the ways I found to hurt myself

This book, (and there is a version 2), is set in Washington, I got a kick out of the placenames. It is supposedly true, but I expect it is embellished.

On Digg today they had a video of a guy who strapped two Roman candles to his drone and chased his friend with it. Reminded me of the book.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Chiffon and Spice - Lihue Parish Hall

Kathy and I went to this fundraiser. It is a bit like a junior eagle scout Cirque du Soleil. The artists were from Soul Fire Productions and they were quite skilled.

Kathy and I went to the Chiffon and Spice fundraiser at the Lihue Parish hall. It was a good show, fantastic pupus, (made the VIP ticket price well worth it). They also gave VIPs a gift bag it everything was well chosen, the water bottles were from a Big Island volcanic string and I am pretty sure the chocolates were from France; classy. And for icing on the cake  we scored center from row seats.

It was not a Christian show, but it was kid friendly, none of the things that would make a parent cringe and there were many younger people there. We really enjoyed meeting the people, they were fun to talk to.

A shoutout to the folks that staffed the event. They were incredibly friendly.

Ollie's BBQ Sauce

I found this on a web page and the original author seems to want it posted on blogs as he was 80 years young when he posted this. Warning, I have not tried this recipe, but I think we will try converting it to 25% of the recipe below when we get back to seattle.

Ollie's is one of my favorite sauces for chicken and pork, it also works on salad type shrimp. I guess the best way to describe it would be a Carolina sauce. If you want to order some this is the link:

I had the privilege of eating at Ollie's many times before it closed. It was a landmark eatery in Birmingham Alabama, much like Carl's in Fredericksburg VA, (frozen custard), Homura's Saimin on Kauai or the Bar-B-Que Station in San Antonio.

Bar-B-Q Sauce
This sauce was made in quantity for the restaurant to use on pork shoulders, sliced or chopped. It was given to me[the author] in 1968 by Philip Adrey (Dr. Gus’ cousin).

½ Cup Black pepper
1 Cup Granulated Garlic
1 Cup Dry Mustard
1 Cup Pickling Spice (tied in cheesecloth bag)
4 Cups Sugar
1 Box Morton’s Salt
3 Gal. White Vinegar
6 Gal. Water
1 Cup Paprika
1 Cup Oregano
2 Gal. Tomato Puree
1 Gal. Tomato Paste
1 Pound Oleo (Margarine)
10 oz Lemon juice
10 oz Worcestershire
1 Cup Red Pepper (try ½ cup and adjust)

Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 5 hours.
They also bottled this and sold it at the restaurant.

Friday, January 16, 2015

AG Russell Knives

As many of you know when our house in Richmond VA sold the offer came just before the holidays and they wanted to close in two weeks. Kathy and I were on the road and had to manage closing out from afar, (which is much less stressful btw).

Lots of wonderful people helped us, both as friends and for hire and we "got her done", but a few things vanished in the chaos. Most of them really do not matter to me, but my two stainless steel "honcho" cooks knives were counted among the missing.

I do not know if you find it frustrating when you charter a boat, spend time at a friend's house or vacation rental and they do not have a decent cooking knife. In a pinch, I can often make do with my Spyderco, but it is just making do. The honcho rocks.

AG Russell is the vendor I got my honchos from and they quit carrying them. Then the latest catalog came and here it is, item AG-135VG10. They now call it a folding cook's knife, but what is in a name? VG10 is the perfect steel for a portable kitchen knife.

What shocked me is how hard is has been to place the order. I am in Hawaii right now which puts me five hours behind Russsell in Arkansas. So I tried the web first, no joy. Called, got an answering service, no joy. Started calling first thing this morning and still did not make much progress. They still have an address for me that is 10 years old and it apparently takes an act of God, (and a supervisor) to put in an up to date address. And the call kept dropping, I don't think the problem is on this end, I talk on the phone a lot.

Bottom line: great knives, terrible infrastructure.