Steps

Ragonese Imports is now officially taking care of vegans.  They’ve long had vegan friendly items, a fair amount of Italian food has always been “naturally” vegan, but now the word “vegan” shows up on their sandwich board and on house branded ravioli.Ravioli

The ravioli are excellent!  Check out the ingredients!  Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the ravioli themselves (we smothered ours in pesto made with our backyard basil thinned with cooking water), but here’s a description–they’re big and pillowy and perfect.  The vegan sandwich is terrific, too.  Get there and show them you care, since they do.  Everyone wins!

How about a little bike safety?  My friend sent this.  Can you believe it?  If you are a local bike advocate, consider sharing it with the powers that be.  Me?  I’ll probably just buy one so I can continue to shake my fist in disbelief but with science on my side.  If our police department doesn’t want to incur the cost, I invite them to ride with a yardstick under their left hands.  If a car hits it, ticket.  Feel free to use that slogan, on the house.

Just got back from a high school reunion.  Which?  Let’s just say too many decades!  My old town was looking swell.  Ton’s of pedalers, lots of good Mexican food and unseasonably mild weather.  I really miss the place.  Seeing old friends was the highlight, but a pilgrimage to the Monkey Wrench bike shop was a close second.  Randy at Monkey Wrench

Check out their wall of historically significant mountain bikes!MWW

There are more but I didn’t need to shoot them all.  Go see them for yourself.  I picked up a Brooks Cadmium saddle to say thanks for being awesome.  It’s very nearly vegan (the vulcanized rubber may contain animal products–can’t be sure).  I’ll have to take a little time to see to which bike it will be added.Frida on Mountain

Frida is doing great, and we’re doing a good job of cherishing every moment.  Somedays she’s a little faster than the day before.  Others a little slower.  We try hard not to read too much into either trend.  Just loving her lots and getting lots in return.

Take care of yourselves, okay?

Good Things

Today the garden offered up some early summer treats.  Summer Haul

First two cukes, spinach and some other fancy lettuce the name of which I have forgotten, wild onions, garlic I missed during last year’s harvest and strawberries from a friend’s plot  (from which I was encouraged to poach).

Yesterday I enjoyed a presentation given by a friend who has started a company called Node40.  He explained Dash, one of many competing crypto currencies, and how his company can help you get involved.  In very basic terms, he can help set up a savings account into which you deposit Dash (a Bitcoin competitor) and then he rents server capacity on your behalf so that you can help verify transfers of Dash and run calculations to create unique transaction IDs.  In exchange for the work the servers are doing, you are paid Dash on an ongoing basis.  He takes an ongoing fee for setting it all up and monitoring the operation of your account. You get an ongoing revenue stream and, when you cash out, the benefit (or burden) of fluctuations in the value of Dash.  I encourage you to keep an eye on his schedule and attend talks he gives in the future.  That, or contact him if you have a group who’d like to hear him speak on the subject.  He’s very committed to getting the word out.  Also enjoyed seeing for the first time the Albany Barn.  Quite a place and very nice of them to host talks by local business owners.  me enjoying a ride

Remember when I wrote to the CDTA to inform them of close passes made by many of their drivers?  I wrote March 31st and April 30th.  No reply so yesterday afternoon I wrote to the CEO, who replied this morning.  Bingo!  The fellow I first contacted just wrote to say the following (edited):

After receiving the initial e-mail, I instructed the Superintendents at each of the three divisions to work with the Safety Department to come up with a notice that reminds all operators of their responsibilities regarding safe passing of bicyclists. That information has been conveyed to our workforce.

We will do a better job at monitoring our operators and gaining full compliance of this responsibility. We will also need to rely on you and the other bicyclists in the Capital Region to notify us when someone fails to comply. If possible, please provide bus numbers and corrective measures will be taken to address on an individual basis.

Not too bad!  I’m going to take him at his word and let him know when operators aren’t complying with the law.  I encourage you to do the same.  I won’t print his name and contact info here, but it is easy to find the appropriate contact info on the CDTA website.  That said, if you know me and want the contact info for this specific fellow, reach out to me outside of this blog and I’d be happy to share it one to one.

Frida is doing very well during the day but has had a couple of very anxious nights in a row.  Upping the xanax to a full pill from a half seems to help so that may be the new normal going forward.  The poor dear.  It is a terrible thing to witness.  She just paces and barks, is let outside and then back in, then paces and barks, then outside then in.  This can go on for hours.  I sometimes shut her in my office and sleep with her on the floor.  Try to sleep.  Neither she nor I do, but at least Lacey stands a chance of getting some sleep.  Last night the extra half xanax and her Thundershirt together helped her collapse on the floor near me and she slept the rest of the night.  I don’t know how many hours of sleep we got.  I sometimes don’t look.  I don’t want to know.  Here’s hoping a full pill at bedtime helps her out.FwTs

That’s enough.  Take care!

ididntfixit

I bought the necessary tools to open my iPhone and clean the camera.  The procedure was quick and easy (great tools and instructions are available at ifixit.com), but the results were disappointing.  See for yourself.

dl

There are dark blobs visible on the left side, more pronounced at the bottom, in the middle (two red bits) and a dark blob on the right near the top.  I used air and Zeiss wipes over q-tips four times.  The first time I thought I had it clean.  All of the visible dirt on the inside of the lens cover was gone.  I closed the phone, powered up, opened the camera and saw what is shown in the picture above.  I repeated the process three more times with increasing vigor and each time there was no change.  I have to believe the particles creating the artifacts are inside the camera assembly itself where they cannot be cleaned.  To add insult to injury, I now see that Verizon will sell me a refurbished iPhone 5 for $32, which is less than I paid for the tools to open and not fix my camera issue.  Sigh.

Onward.  Frida had a bath!cf

Happens only once a year unless she rolls in something particularly fragrant.  You have to see her now that is dry and all combed out.  She looks like a puppy.  So cute!

A friend had set up a bike camping trip to Thompson’s Lake.  We were supposed to leave Saturday and return Sunday.  I was packed and ready but the weather suggested caution.  Rain predicted for Saturday night and all day Sunday, so on Friday we scrubbed the mission.  It did rain heavily on Saturday night, so I guess the cancellation was a good move, but not a drop on Sunday.  We’ll have to try again.  It is nice to have a place to camp and swim that is biking distance from home.  Soon!

Other news?  At 8:00 am on Wednesday, at the Albany Barn, my friend is giving a talk and a Q&A on investing in Dash.  Dash?  A competitor of Bitcoin.  A cryptocurrency.  With me?  If not, I can’t help because I don’t understand it well enough to explain it.  My friend started a company that helps folks mine for Dash and collect interest on their investment.  He takes a fee for setting up and monitoring your master node(s).  He’s whip smart, a great communicator and a very good guy.  You should go if you are local.  The details are here.

Take care!

A Step to the Side

Last night’s rain is taking care of the garden for today, but Frida was still itching for a ride in the trailer.  Since she was up with anxiety from 2:30 am this morning, I was happy to oblige.

I pedaled her to the state campus for a stroll.  Lots of people in the area but they’re all tucked away in the office buildings so we have the outdoors mostly to ourselves.  If I squint just right, between the open spaces and the pleasant to pedal upon ring roads, the state campus feels like my private central park.  That’s a stretch, but Frida and I did enjoy the change of scenery.  Incidentally, I know Frida doesn’t look like she is enjoying herself.  She looks tired and she is.  We all are after a night with too little sleep.  Even so, after a thirty minute afternoon walk (and an hour long walk this morning), she didn’t want to get back in the trailer.  She wanted more walking.  Bless her.  Next time.  She needs her rest.  fasc

Sunday I brought home all of my garlic scapes.  They keep well in the fridge, but I wanted to try something different.  Roasting them at 425 for twenty minutes was a first for me, but it won’t be the last.  At such high heat, check them frequently.  The thinner top sections would have burnt if I hadn’t removed them after ten minutes. rgs

They are delicious!  Crispy, caramelized, salty, oily goodness.  If I can stop eating them, I will chop what remains into smaller peaces and toss them with pasta for dinner tomorrow.  While the oven was hot, I roasted four poblano chiles.  They’ll go inside of tamales that I hope to make Wednesday.  Our week in food is shaping up nicely!

Thanks for stopping by.  Take care of yourself.

Zip

Working Dog 06.12.15Frida is still on the yob (sic–I miss Broad City!).

The community garden is giving mustard and spinach.  A neighbor gardener gave me garlic scapes.  Mine are just starting to appear.

The backyard garden is giving arugula.  Last night I made an arugula pesto with which I was very pleased.

I had lunch at The Brakes yesterday.  BLT on a nice roll, mint tea and a peanut butter cookie were all delicious.  I need to go more often.

I thought it was thundering outside but it was my neighbor starting his Harley.  Then it thundered.  If Harleys make rain, what do BMWs make?  Mine used to smell like red wine after it warmed up.  Might have been the red wine that leaked from the broken bottles in a case I had lashed to the pillion, but I like to think it was just class.

I think this is my friend’s bike.  He is honest and Cannonades are nice.  If it is your size and you need it, buy it.

Exclamation points outnumber periods two to one.  It is nice to see someone excited by their work.  These things were on my radar as a kid, but I never had one.  Don’t think I ever saw one in person.  Glad to see they are still in business.  There are days when I’d be happy to have one (but then I’d usually just stay home).

Hosannah its Friday (#HIF).

Greetings

So much work has been crowding out the fun making this a dull blog.  So sorry.  How about spices from the other side of the globe?  Pepper 06.04.15

A friend bought me black pepper from her family’s farm in India.  So fresh and soft that when I crush a corn under a knife it simply deforms into a fiery fritter, bursting with flavor a hundred times its size.  I ate a crushed corn thirty minutes ago and its floral aspects still linger on my tongue.

Randy and Frida 06.04.15

I apologize to Frida for sharing a picture showing her weepy eyes.  We put so much medicine in them that there is almost always something seeping out.  I should carry q tips or rebuy photoshop (I lost use of my copy five or ten years ago when I upgraded operating systems and it still makes me mad).

Happy Friday, y’all!

Cinchisode

An episode of easy achievement.  That’s how today has rolled out.  I’ll stay close to home for the rest in hopes I don’t mess it up.Frida on Stairs

This morning Frida and I walked two miles.   She made it look easy.  Nice and cool, so good to take advantage of it.

Then I trailered Frida to the garden.  A couple of days with some rain have things looking great.  I brought home thinned beets and volunteer mustard.  I blanched the mustard, squeezed it into a rope and cut it into bit sized nuggets.  They get dipped in tamari as they are eaten resulting in the yummiest greens I know how to make.  The baby beet greens will be eaten raw with dressing.

I pedaled to the coop to get some midweek provisions.  Pad thai for dinner tonight and I was out of scallions, tofu and red peppers.  The coop was out of bean sprouts.  We’ll live.

Finally I trailered Frida to a coffeeshop where I got hopped up on a small cold brewed coffee (I’ve all but stopped drinking the stuff so when I do I am easily revved) and she soaked up lots of stranger love.

Eight miles of pedaling and two walking make an even ten.  I’ve earned a beer.

Hope you too have enjoyed some easy living.