Friday, September 12, 2008

Escape to the Wild Rumpus

At the end of each summer the husband and I escape reality for one weekend.  We and hundreds of other unusual individuals don historical costumes, speak in strange (and sometimes very BAD) accents, and spend the weekend in the past. Historical and fantasy faires are common throughout the western world and I've delighted in attending them since I was very young.  Now the real delight for me comes from taking on the persona of a person from the past. You see it's more that just a great weekend get away, we perform for the public and as such are forced into holding character and presenting yourself as an entirely different person.  Slipping into my costume is like slipping into another persons skin.  I'm instantly changed in every important way.  How I speak, move, interact, and think is all at once altered.  Though the rules of conduct are more restrictive it is also freeing to be this other person for a weekend.  I can forget about computers, science, and higher learning and just exist in a simple way for a short while.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

LHC - We're not dead yet!

Well, so far the LHC hasn't killed us all in our sleep (as far as I can tell).  The story is probably being told everywhere but I first heard the good news on NPR this morning.  Of course there isn't much to tell yet, just a lot of excited scientist who are basically saying: "we told you we wouldn't destroy everyone."  But here's a link to a NPR article on it, good stuff but I find it disturbing to think of a lab full of physicists having a pajama party.....

In case you're worried about the earths imminent destruction you can navigate to this webpage
where they bravely answer the question: has the lhc destroyed the earth?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Stinky lab hands

I'm taking a 2 week molecular biology lab intensive course that keeps me in laxtex gloves for about 6-7 hours a day.  It's only the second day of classes and my hands have a fowl laxtex smell that I just can't get rid of.  Soaps, lotions, detergents, sanitizers, nothing will kill this smell.  I don't know how people working in labs everyday can stand it!  It reminds me of the dentist and make me feel ill.  Bleh.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The harvest weekend

Labor day weekend proved to be a mellow and productive holiday weekend. 

Utilizing our newly procured B.O.B. trailer we successfully foraged at the local farmers market  for fresh veg-edibles and a few new garden plants.  We felt incredibly smug pedaling home with our market fare rolling along in such a stylish way.  Car-free appears to be the height of green-urban-society-life-choice right now and we got lots of questions and compliments (imagine if I'd been riding and S.U.B).  On the ride home we stopped to forage a basket-full of apples from the feral trees along the bike path.
The new bike trailer loaded down with market purchases: basket of veggies, blueberry bush, honey fig tree
Spoils of a successful market forage: asian eggplant, casper eggplant, oyster mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, purple peppers, red onion, and blue potatoes.  All locally grown and purchased from the producer (smug, smug, smuggity, smug.)
Apples and pears from feral trees, possibly the beginnings of a future fermentation experiment.

The bees had finally lost interest in my lavender bushes so it was time to harvest.  It was very productive year.  Later we discovered a cooler fits nicely on the new trailer and is very handy for grocery shopping expeditions. We also attempted our first mead making experiment Sunday evening with a large jar of meadowfoam honey.  I'll try to share fermentation pictures in a later post.
Enough English lavender to set four large bundles to dry.

The bob trailer is just the right size for hauling a cooler.  I can think of so many wonderful  reasons you'd want to bring a cooler with you...

Major trimming of the spice garden.  Saved enough mint to dry one large bundle and composted the rest, also saved smallish bundles of thyme, marjoram and oregano  (I prefer them fresh, but a little dried can't hurt).  Another exciting bicycle expedition, this time to the recycling plant and picking blackberries for another fermentation experiment (more on that to come).
Mint from my garden.  Great for teas, baths, mojitos, tzatziki sauce, but also my biggest weed.  Transplanted from a 4 inch pot and now covers most of my spice garden.

We got some strange looks from other folks dropping off recycling (all driving cars and leaving them idling while disposing of recyclables) but that's half the fun of using your bike for these round-the-town errands.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Three days in a row, waking without an alarm clock.