Sunday, January 27, 2008

Food Science!!

I geeked out this Sunday afternoon when I went on iTunes and found two new podcasts. The first is a Cooks Illustrated Podcast. I've loved the magazine [and the companion America's Test Kitchen] for a long time now, and having a video podcast is sweet icing on the cake. On top of that, the most recent podcast is about Cast Iron Pans [which everyone should watch, because everyone should own a Cast Iron Pan]. Link to Podcast.

The second Podcast is Food Science. Now, given my excitement about Cooks Illustrated, seeing Food Science was like a second slice of cake. Dr. Kiki is as excited about all of this as I am, making her an entertaining and fun host. Link to Podcast

I highly recommend both these podcasts!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Free! Trees

From Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Take a little online workshop here, it will explain everything you need to know. And you're pretty much good to go.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Get Inspired

Sir Ken Robinson is the most well spoken and inspiring speaker I've ever experienced. I saw him speak at Connecting 07 and was blown away. I wasn't the only one who thought so, because he got a standing ovation. The energy he exudes when speaking is worth seeing him in person. If you haven't seen him yet, watch this video.

Monday, January 21, 2008


There is no better time than right now, this moment. To finish off the last thing on that to-do list and throw it away. To write that thank you note you've been putting off. To go buy that scarf you've been thinking about. To start recycling. To call up your mom and dad, just to say hello and compliment them on the great job they did.

Two bike accidents and one mugging at gunpoint have shown me this side of it all going away in an instant. In a manner we least expect, when we least expect it.  I honestly hope you all lead long happy and rewarding lives. I hope you start sooner than later. I hope I take my own advice.

Mom, Dad, I didn't always agree with how you raised me. I've ended up in a place that has made me extremely happy though, thanks. Errin, you're my brother and I love you, just come back home safe. Jenna, you're the best sister, I'll be your sous-chef any time. Audrey, Dice, Jessie and Robert, you are the greatest set of friends a guy could ask for, thanks for being there. Donnelly, you're the best roommate ever.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Free! Mulch

In the interest of being green and being efficient. I'm going to try and add a weekly update to this site where I find free stuff that is green.

The first free item I've found is Mulch, provided by Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. Specific Information in this PDF.  Just drive up to one of six locations, scoop up some compost, go home and use as potting soil or ground cover. Take as little or as much as you want.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hashed Pizza

Is comprised of hash (grated potatoes), a pinch of salt, mozzarella cheese, chopped basil and some freshly ground pepper. It's cooked in a cast iron skillet that's been warmed up and has had a tablespoon of olive oil in it. It's pretty straight forward, grate some potatoes, toss into skillet, fry, flip when browned, fry some more, after a minute, sprinkle some mozzarella and fresh pepper, and when the cheese is melted, plate the dish and throw on the basil. Its pretty easy from here to continue on and make other Hashed Pizza creations in this style. What hit surprised me was the simplicity of the act compared to the time leading up to it.

I didn't wake up trying to create Hashed Pizza. I've been cooking for years now.  I've been experimenting with grating potatoes for the past two weeks since I bought my course grater [for a month including the time I spent zesting the potatoes].  I've been playing with how I slice basil for at least two years, and I've had the specific basil leaves for a few days from an alternate dish. The fact that I brought out the basil originally was so it didn't all go bad before I could use it. I've been working the cast iron skillet for almost as long as I've been cooking. I've preferred Kosher Salt (for the size of its flakes) and fresh ground pepper for at least three years. I used the mozzarella for a similar reason to the basil, didn't want it to go bad before I used it all.

All these small conscious and unconscious acts [as well as others I didn't think to mention] lead up to the Hashed Pizza. What a friend might call a "spur of the moment cooking act" is actually the tail end to long process [or maybe just the middle of a longer one]. Things like this don't just happen, and yet they do.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Santa Monica by Bike

I went to a Green Business Networking Event that provides the owners and decision-makers of socially- and environmentally-conscious businesses a time and place for connecting, sharing, deal-making and networking. It was at the Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica. Which is aesthetically pleasing, though the bike racks leave something to be desired.  The staff did let me store my bike the Study Room though, that was extraordinarily kind of them.

The Green Business Networking Event takes place on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. It was  a good event to attend, I got a number of business cards that will be good for both school and personal related issues. From Solar Panel providers to Organic Landscaping Consultants, and even a LEED Accredited Financial Consultant.  More on the individual people and the companies in the future as I follow up and see which worth noting.

And in the spirit of being Green, I biked there from Eagle Rock.  It only took an hour and half, including the stopover at 710 Heliotrope drive for Scoops Ice Cream Shop. It's on the way, what's a 50 yard detour in an 18 mile trip? The travel time still beats out taking public transportation which would have taken 1 hour and 52 minutes. And public transportation beats out a car which would've cost the equivalent of $13.50.  It all depends on your frame of reference, and priorities of what is important, time, money, individual health.

View Larger Map

The return trip was a slightly different route (Santa Monica Blvd all the way to Sunset Blvd, then down to Silver Lake), and it took less than an hour. I felt safe the entire time considering it started at 9pm at night.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cheat Neutral...

This is a fantastic parody of Carbon Offsetting over at CheatNeutral.  Just as the US Government considers whether to trade or tax carbon emissions. How long have Carbon Offsets been around I wonder, and there is already talk of possible fraud.

I've been somewhat unsure about Carbon Offsetting.  It was never so clear until a man commented on the CheatNeutral idea (at point 2:12 of the YouTube). The greatness of this whole act is the power of framing (or reframing). It is very successful in pointing out the gaps in certain aspects of behavior. 

I had a final thought about how framing is a great tool in creative development when one feels writer's/designer's/etc block. Just think about some aspect of what you're working on in a new context, how does that change what you're working on and push it forward?