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Last Build Date: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:13:14 GMT

 



Bad Joke

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 06:13:14 GMT

Q: What did Olivia Newton John step in at the dog-park?
A: Xanadu-du



Bad Acronyms JokeM83 - Midnight City (PatrickReza Remix)

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 22:55:15 GMT

Q: What do you call an art student with a great body?
A: MFA HPOA

Q: What do you call it when a bunch of them buy houses together?
A: MFA HPOA HOA

Q: What do you shout when you want them to stop their horses?
A: WHOA! MFA HPOA HOA! WHOA!

Ok I'll stop now




Mon, 27 Feb 2012 18:23:02 GMT

Q: In what shape is an obese fratboy?
A: Broval



New Blog

Wed, 12 Oct 2011 16:47:42 GMT

I started a new blog, it's about simple living. Here it is:

http://foundryintheforest.wordpress.com



or you can LIKE the facebook page to get updates.

Let me know what you think.

Not sure what this means for my LJ. I'm not ready to call it quits, but I'll be posting less frequently.



Finally found an awesome pumpkin patch

Sun, 02 Oct 2011 06:27:14 GMT

(image)

We've gone to a different pumpkin patch every year for the last 6ish years, because none of them cut the mustard. Some are too far away; some nickel-and-dime you (an entrance fee, plus a per-pound price for pumpkins, plus a fee for rides?); some are over-crowded spectacles (more like a fair than a farm); one had a trout "pond" (more like a "tub") that was helpful in opening a dialogue with the children about the ethics of farmed fish, but was otherwise morally repugnant.¹

Today, on a whim, we drove to a patch in Carnation called Camp Korey. The website is a bit understated but this place delivers the goods!

* No lines for activities (and activities were at a minimum. It was more about the pumpkins)
* About 25 miles out of the city (made somewhat more challenging by the I-405 closure)
* A good selection of pumpkins, at 40 cents/lb (Aaron picked a 32 pounder!)
* Free hay-ride²
* The "petting zoo" was 2 cows. Small, but unique.
* Fire pit. Doesn't seem like much, but after being outside on a drizzly fall day, this is awesome.
* Best of all, the whole setup is a non-profit, dedicated to providing camps for disabled youth!

They're having a slacktivism donation drive right now. For every "Like" they get on their facebook page, a philanthropist will donate a dollar to the organization. So even if you don't visit, the least you could do is help send $1 their way.

¹ it also introduced the boys to the next step in fishing after reeling in the fish, i.e. beating it to death. Food for thought.
² Lillia's first hay-ride. For the first 5 minutes she thought it was the best thing ever, until suddenly she decided it was the worst thing ever.



Acceptability of eating various types of animals, listed in descending orderNo Age - Fever Dreaming

Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:31:01 GMT

* Fish
* Chicken
* Pig
* Cow
* Lamb
* Rabbit
* Shark
* Frog

=== THE LINE ===

* Dolphin
* Rodent
* Insect
* Horse
* Camel
* Dog
* Cat
* Human (stranger)
* Human (acquaintance)
* Human (family)
* Human (self) ?

In our society, you can eat everything above THE LINE, and nothing below. The ordering and placement of THE LINE are both somewhat subjective, but you get the point.

My theory is that THE LINE will constantly move up that list until it's not acceptable to eat any animals. It will take a very long time. This is not to say that societies where THE LINE is in a different place than ours are necessarily better or worse societies.

In the interest of full disclosure, I enjoy eating the occasional animal.



Seattle Symphony ReviewBlitzen Trapper - Furr

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 18:31:16 GMT

Venessa and I subscribed to the Symphony this season. We got the 3-performance package, and our first show was opening night. As a treat, the Symphony gave subscribers an upgrade coupon so we were able to upgrade our tickets to some of the best seats in the house: the 2nd closest Founders Box!

The show had 3 pieces:

Frank Zappa: Dupree’s Paradise
I'd only heard the rock arrangement, so I didn't know what to expect. The symphonic arrangement was toned down, but still frenetic. As a spectator, finding the ever-moving lead was the musical equivalent of watching a tennis match. I'm a fan of Zappa's music, though I don't think his genius translates to a large ensemble. It was extremely weird and dissonant, but that's not really what I go to the symphony for.

Henri Dutilleux: L’arbre des songes
This was another weird, dissonant piece. Pairing it with Zappa was like eating too many sour patch kids at once. The sololist was reading off his score, yet he didn't flip any pages for the entire 25 minute song. My guess is that his sheet music was only one page long and it just said "Play the weirdest noises you can make up for 25 minutes straight" in French. The best part of this piece was when the symphony tuned up in the middle of the song. Apparently it's in the score.

Beethoven: Symphony No. 3, in E-flat major, Op. 55, "Eroica"
This was absolutely mind-blowing. Every player was on their A game, especially the flautist. That guy totally redefined classical awesomeness for me. If you've never heard this piece (which I hadn't till we bought our tickets), give it a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHvztnHOWEQ

Apparently it's the first piece Beethoven wrote after starting to go deaf, and it's also the first romantic symphony, departing in a few ways from the classical music of the time (e.g. syncopation, dynamics). I'm no classical expert so I'll stop now.



The Seattle Times mentioned my website

Wed, 21 Sep 2011 02:56:08 GMT

In 1995.

Teen tastes. Recent mention of an out-of-state 16-year-old's Web site prompted local 15-year-old Joe Goldberg to send e-mail advertising his home-grown site. As Joe himself says, it's not full of bells and whistles but it does provide a glimpse of a local teen's tastes.

http://www.prostar.com/web/goldberg.html


It's down right now but I'm sure I'll get it back up one day



Diaper Sprayer

Sun, 18 Sep 2011 16:39:00 GMT

Dear Parents Who Wash Their Child's Diapers,

Do you know about the diaper sprayer(image) ? I'm not exaggerating when I say it will change your life. It's basically a bidet¹ that attaches to your toilet tank. When activated it sprays a high-pressure jet of water that is strong enough to unstick poop from a diaper.

(image) (image)

At first I balked at the price, but now I realize it's worth every penny because it makes one of the nastiest parenting chores a lot less gross. You could probably make something identical for half the price, with a trip to the hardware store and a bit of creativity.

Now instead of scraping (ew) or shaking (ugh) poopy diapers into the toilet, or just tossing them into the washing machine and praying that the machine takes care of it (yeah right), we can clean them off before washing. I've tested this on a diaper that's been dirty for 24 hrs (can you believe we don't always have time to take care of dirty diapers right away?) and it still worked.

We bought this one(image) but they mostly all look the same.

Installation was simple, even an 8 year old can do it. I know this because Isaac and Aaron installed it (with a bit of help and supervision). The only tip I have is make sure the rubber washer that comes the sprayer kit looks like the washer in your existing hose. If they're vastly different you won't get a tight fit.

Thank you to Rose for telling me about this wonderful invention.

¹ in fact, the directions in our kit were double-sided. One side said "To install this diaper sprayer...", the other side said "To install this bidet..."



No crib

Mon, 29 Aug 2011 05:27:31 GMT

Lillia has no crib. She sleeps on a mattress on the floor, which is also called a "Montessori child bed." I'd love to say that it was a carefully thought out decision because I'm such a huge Montessori evangelist, but the real reason behind the setup is that when Lillia graduated out of our bed, I went to put together my old crib¹ and found it was missing pieces. We didn't have enough time to get a new crib, so we just put her mattress on the floor. We exchanged the crib mattress for a twin-sized mattress, so there's room for us to lie with her at bedtime (more on this below).I had read about the Montessori child bed concept (in a book I highly recommend to all parents of < 3 year olds) and thought it was interesting, but wasn't sure if it was right for our family. It seems pretty far down the Montessori rabbit hole, when we're less interested in being tied to one particular parental dogma.²Lillia's room is Tier-1 childproofed anyway, so we figured she could get in and out of bed when she was able. The belief is that when a child can do this (and has a better view of their surroundings), they become more calm. A calm baby is a baby ready to learn throughout the day (see Brain Rules For Baby for the research behind this). People often comment on how calm yet alert Lillia is, and while I'm not ready to give all the credit to nurture over nature (i.e. having chillaxed parents), her bedroom setup couldn't be hurting.Along with this, there are some other benefits:* When she wakes up in the morning, she can play with toys so she doesn't cry out right away (sometimes she chooses to cry right away anyway).* When we put her to bed or when she wakes up in the night, Venessa or I can lie down beside her.* No chance of crib-related injuries (climbing out, limbs caught in the frame, etc)* One less baby item to buy, maintain, and either store for the next child or get rid of itThe child bed isn't without its drawbacks, however. So far we've experienced the following:* When she doesn't want to nap, she just gets out of bed and plays with toys (which is a mixed blessing, since when a child in a crib doesn't want to nap, she cries or tries to climb out)* Sometimes she rolls out of bed. We put pillows around the bed to prevent injury but it can still wake her up and startle her.* There's a small area of the bed, adjacent to the wall, where the mattress tapers in height and slants down. When Lillia was younger, she used to get "stuck" here when she rolled all the way to the wall. This lasted for the couple-month phase between the time she got really good at rolling over and the time she got really good at sitting up. This is probably our fault for graduating her to a twin-sized mattress too soon.This setup isn't for every family, but I'm glad we were sort of pushed into it by my lack of crib preparation. If you're curious about it, I encourage you to read Montessori From the Start, especially the chapter on sleep. Or you can ask me about it. I'm sure I've forgotten some pros and cons. Here's a bonus photo of Lillia:¹ as in, the crib I slept in as a child. One of the boys used it too.² and I learned to pick my Montessori battles after unsuccessfully trying to get rid of all Lillia's "fantasy" toys, something that Montessori suggests for children not yet in the second plane of development. For reasons I have trouble articulating.[...]



For want of heroism, love, care, or laughterThe Beach Boys - Wouldn't It Be Nice

Mon, 22 Aug 2011 04:13:32 GMT

What percent of your childhood longing does the following paragraph describe?

Children tend to relate with onscreen characters during the learning programs and build a positive relationship with that character, who seems to be heroic and/or loving and/or caring and/or funny. Then, when they interact with that character again, it tends to be in a commercial environment that’s tightly controlled, such as seeing Big Bird toothpaste on the grocery store shelf or Pokemon toys in their fast food restaurant. They want to continue that emotional connection – heroic and/or loving and/or caring and/or funny – but now the emotional connection they desire requires a purchase. Is it any wonder, really, that young children get very upset when their parents say “no” to buying an item depicting their favorite character? Often, it’s not the item they want. They want heroism, love, care, or laughter.


From an excellent, concise book review of Buy, Buy Baby



Getting a more complete financial picture of Stay-At-Home parentingVampire Weekend - I Think Ur a Contra

Fri, 19 Aug 2011 00:09:04 GMT

Now that more of my friends have kids, it's interesting to see how couples choose to divide up paid employment vs childcare. My favorite so far is the Bensons, who each work at paid employment a few days of the week, so they take turns with childcare. It looks like the Kullas do something similar. This is less practical when your baby is breastfeeding exclusively and won't take a bottle, or when both parents can't work from home (or farm). But there are probably as many different ways to handle this as there are couples.

Of all reasons to stay at home, obviously the best is non-financial: to raise your own children. This post isn't about that, it's about the money. The typical economic formula people use to figure out if they should return to paid employment after having a child is:

S - C

Where S is the salary of the potential stay-at-home (SAH) parent, and C is the cost of child care. If S is more than C, then grab your briefcase and get back out there in the working world!

I'd like to propose a slightly more realistic formula:

S - (C + E)

Where E is "everything else a SAH parent can do at home to contribute to the family's bottom line." Here are some ways that our family is saving by having one parent at home (usually Venessa, though she is back to working at home...YUM!). I've also included an estimated yearly cost if we had two parents with paid employment¹:

* First, the value of C: a full-time nanny for a year = $30,000
* We have time to launder cloth diapers and wipes = $750
* Venessa can nurse Lillia, so we don't need formula, bottles, pump, etc. = $1,200
* We have time to bargain shop at thrift stores or pick up craigslist finds = $350
* We're paying less income tax = $5,000
* I can take lunch from home (leftovers from homemade meals) = $500
* Also, when we go out for dinner it's by choice, not due to time constraints (i.e. we dine out less) = $250
* I commute by bike, and Venessa's paid employment is at home = $1000
* Many of our daytime hobbies (beekeeping, canning, gardening, chickens) are money-saving = $500

That's approximately a $40k salary right there, or a $19 hourly wage at a 40hr/week job. There are probably some other factors that I'm forgetting or that are harder to quantify (e.g. children in daycare get sick more often at first).

There are a few caveats to keep in mind:

* Will you be leaving any workplace perks behind? 401k match, life insurance, etc.
* Will you be able to get back into the workforce when you're ready?
* What if the person with paid employment gets laid off? I recommend everyone having a 3 - 6 month emergency fund, but this is especially important for parents.

Like I said, this is a very personal decision. I just want to make sure people are looking at the complete picture when they make this decision for their family.

¹ Source: http://www.babycenter.com/baby-cost-calculator and http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2007/12/17/the-real-value-of-stay-at-home-parenting/ This is going to vary a lot from family to family, based on many factors.



Picadee

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 21:30:43 GMT

I love stuff like this:

Picadee (Ray's new startup) is still in stealth mode, but as any good nerd knows, when a startup's splash page isn't informative, there'll likely be clues in the html source.

The meta description on their website says:

'The easy and private way to share photos with your family and close friends.'

Hmmm, that seemed too easy and it's a dumb elevator pitch too. I wonder what happens if I refresh. The description changed! It's one of 6 different descriptions, and they all have something in common. See if you can put your finger on it...

'Changing the game in a game changing world!'
'Share music with your friends on Facebook!'
'Simple easy way to send Grilled Cheese via mobile.'
'When 140 characters isn't enough'
'The best way to let your best friends know where you are!'



Presidental QuoteThieves In The Night - Hot Chip

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 18:49:03 GMT

"Congress consistently brings the government to the edge of default before facing its responsibility. This brinkmanship brings the holders of government bonds, those who rely on Social Security and Veterans benefits."

-- Ronald Reagan, 9/26/1987



Why I won't be using google+

Sun, 17 Jul 2011 06:08:34 GMT

Thank you for the invites. I'm not joining google+. Here's a parable to illustrate one reason why

A UNIX wizard hears cries of torment from his apprentice's computer room where the apprentice is studying, and goes to investigate.

He finds the apprentice in obvious distress, nearly on the verge of tears. "What's the problem?" he asks. "Why did you cry out?"

"It's terrible using this system. I must use four editors each day to get my studies done, because not one of them does everything."

The wizard nods sagely, and asks, "And what would you propose that will solve this obvious dilemma?"

The student thinks carefully for several minutes, and his face then lights up in delight. Excitedly, he says, "Well, it's obvious. I will write the best editor ever. It will do everything that the existing four editors do, but do their jobs better, and faster. And because of my new editor, the world will be a better place."

The wizard quickly raises his hand and smacks the apprentice on the side of his head. The wizard is old and frail, and the apprentice isn't physically hurt, but is shocked by what has happened. He turns his head to face the wizard. "What have I done wrong?" he asks.

"Fool!" says the wizard. "Do you think I want to learn yet another editor?"

Immediately, the apprentice is enlightened.

Livejournal is still the old/new Livejournal for me.



SWM seeks slim attractive freezer for cool relationship

Wed, 13 Jul 2011 04:05:36 GMT

I was really close to starting a blog about simple living, frugality, and other money/lifestyle topics, with a nerdy and lighthearted take (e.g. my post about energy consumption), but I figured it's all been written already. Instead, I pledged to write more here. We'll see how that goes.

0. I had a fun birthday that included some kickball and karaoke, two of my favorite pastimes these days.
1. I made this for Mike: http://freshandrefresh.wordpress.com/
2. You should fill out this form and tell the county not to cut bus service: http://www.kingcounty.gov/council/testimony.aspx
3. We bought a 7.2ft³ chest freezer for $75 delivered. I borrowed a kill-a-watt from the library to check out how much energy it consumes. At current electricity prices, it's going to cost $25 a year to keep it running. Probably less, since I measured it when it was mostly empty and full fridges/freezers run more efficiently. I think it'll pay for itself in the first year, but it's one of those things that's hard to track. I've read that buying meat by the cow instead of by the pound can save a family of 4 almost $500 a year, if they eat beef frequently. We only eat occasionally, but even if we save $100 this year, that pays for the freezer and the cost of running it.



pi feet

Sun, 26 Jun 2011 05:06:12 GMT

Isaac and I are in the swimming pool...

Isaac: How deep is the water here?
Me: Well, there's the 4 foot marker over there, and here's the 3 feet marker over here. So we're between 3 and 4 feet, but closer to 3.
Isaac: So it's like pi feet deep?



Great start to summer

Tue, 21 Jun 2011 17:34:24 GMT

Around 5:30am, Scourge (the cat) brought a live bird into the bedroom and started playing with it. Her chase moved into the closet, which made a LOT of noise, and then onto the night table, where the cat bumped the remains of a can of PBR from the previous night, and spilled it onto my clothes and an external hard drive. (The drive is OK. The clothes smell like beer).

After putting the bird outside, I am awoken by my neighbor revving his crotch rocket bike in the driveway. He proceeds to idle it there for 20 minutes.

I'm finally able to fall back asleep at 6:30am. The alarm goes off at 7am. It's "Summertime" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. Somehow that made the past 2 hours seem funny.




Achievement Unlocked

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 00:20:18 GMT

There was only one item on the list of Stuff White People Like that I hadn't incorporated into my life: playing children's games (#102).

But now I can cross that one off the list, as Venessa and some of her friends have roped me into joining their kickball team, Team Zissou. I suck at all baseball-diamond-type games, but I'm having a lot of fun with the team. The best part is doing "taunts" which are like cheers but instead of cheering about how good your team is, they're skits about how bad the other team is.

Last time we played an AD&D themed team so in the taunt I was a nerdy role-playing guy, which for those of you who knew me in middle school isn't much of a stretch. After the taunt we blast some Girl Talk (#107) on the boom box, crack open some beer (#23), and play ball in our matching Life Aquatic (#10) inspired outfits.

It's full-on hipsterville but I've learned to embrace it. Now that I've completed every item on the SWPL list, who am I to deny my true nature?

PS: Kickball kills two SWPL birds with one stone: children's games, and co-ed sports (#65) but I already play ultimate frisbee (#110) which is co-ed.

PPS: I've actually been called "the Yoda of stuffwhitepeoplelike"



Aaron's story

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 00:03:29 GMT

This is a cute/funny story Aaron wrote for an in-class assignment:

Mr. Weirdo was born on Mars. He was shaped like a potato. His parents decided to send him to Earth. He was adopted by Lara & Max Dingelburger. His mom was so sad to leave her son that she exploded. kaboom!!! So his dad called and said “Your mom’s dead.” So he stabbed himself with a knife but Martians are invincible so he went to school and no one bothered him (did I mention that he was 100 million feet tall?) but he got homesick and cried himself to death. He never went to Heaven or the underworld so he had to walk the Earth for eternity. Someone from his funeral saw him and said “You’re not alive anymore!” and then he went to Heaven. Everyone in the world cried because he was the only person in the world who could lift an anvil with his tongue.



20 Degrees of Enchilada PhilosophyWarm Sound - Zero 7

Thu, 02 Jun 2011 04:41:09 GMT

Enchilada > Maize > Taíno people > Indigenous peoples of the Americas > Indigenous peoples > Ethnic group > Social group > Social sciences > List of academic disciplines > Academia > Community > Interaction > Causality > Result > Sequence > Mathematics > Quantity > Property (philosophy) > Modern philosophy > Philosophy



10 years ago todayHand Covers Bruise - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Tue, 31 May 2011 18:10:08 GMT

the compulsory first post, i guess. after meeting evan, and looking at his journal, i wanted one for my own.


What a trip it's been!



Daily histogram of mysql data

Tue, 26 Apr 2011 18:21:01 GMT

This creates a histogram to see when rows were created, grouped by day (assuming your table has a created_date column and dates are stored in unix time)

SELECT count(id) count, from_unixtime(created_date) date FROM blah WHERE created_date > UNIX_TIMESTAMP('2011-03-31') GROUP BY CONCAT(DAY(from_unixtime(created_date))) order by created_date;

The output looks like this:

+------------+---------------------+
|      count | date                |
+------------+---------------------+
|         41 | 2011-03-31 00:08:57 |
|         25 | 2011-04-01 00:20:17 |
|         47 | 2011-04-02 00:15:41 |
|         42 | 2011-04-03 00:47:35 |
|         44 | 2011-04-04 00:04:46 |
|         48 | 2011-04-05 00:29:00 |
|         34 | 2011-04-06 00:57:42 |
|         28 | 2011-04-07 00:33:37 |
|         47 | 2011-04-08 00:19:12 |
|         30 | 2011-04-09 03:09:18 |
|         36 | 2011-04-10 00:15:38 |
|         30 | 2011-04-11 01:11:13 |
|         29 | 2011-04-12 00:01:16 |
|         30 | 2011-04-13 00:03:32 |
|         33 | 2011-04-14 00:10:06 |
|         24 | 2011-04-15 00:37:03 |
|         30 | 2011-04-16 01:53:08 |
|         32 | 2011-04-17 00:22:29 |
|         25 | 2011-04-18 00:04:15 |
|         35 | 2011-04-19 01:47:20 |
|         30 | 2011-04-20 00:56:42 |
|         43 | 2011-04-21 01:59:54 |
|         37 | 2011-04-22 00:13:42 |
|         30 | 2011-04-23 00:13:17 |
|         29 | 2011-04-24 05:36:49 |
|         28 | 2011-04-25 04:16:59 |
|         14 | 2011-04-26 00:10:00 |
+------------+---------------------+

I couldn't find how to do this anywhere. Hopefully this helps others.



Energy consumption nerdgasm

Mon, 18 Apr 2011 21:24:53 GMT

When I got our first power bill for the new house, I had what one would consider a sticker shock. The bill was almost an order of magnitude larger than our old bill! How could this happen to Northwest Profile #12, the 60F thermostat guy? This triggered a fact-finding nerdgasm freakout where I learned some interesting stuff (one should always learn something new during a nerdgasm).Follow along with me on my nerdy energy journey:Part 1: The revelation of total energy consumptionOur old house used primarily natural gas. Electricity was only used for the fridge, light bulbs, etc. In the new house, our gas bill went down since more things are powered by electricity. I'd need to look at my total energy consumption to see if our energy use has changed.Part 2: The mathingNatural gas is measured in therms and electricity is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), so let's use kWh for both forms. 1 therm is about 29.3 kWh. Here's my daily energy consumption of electricity and gas in the old and new houses: New HouseOld House 45.116.4kWh of Electricity per day 5.8629.3kWh of gas per day 50.9735.7total daily energy consumption (kWh) Part 3: The equalizingIt looks bad at first, until I realized that our new house is more than 2x larger than our old. So let's control for square footage: New House (2400)Old House (910)(sq ft) 50.9735.7total daily energy consumption (kWh) 2.123.92Energy consumption per 100 sq ft Part 4: The cash moneyWow, I'm actually using less energy per area of house. Time to break out the Dom Pérignon, right? Well, not so fast. Even though we can compare the amount of electricity and gas consumed by converting gas to kWh, that doesn't change the fact that each type of energy has a different cost. The cost of gas can be found by adding the line items on the bill (delivery charge and cost of gas are the two main ones). It's $0.037 per kWh for PSE customers. The cost of electricity is a bit more tricky in Seattle, because we pay a blended rate to encourage conservation (one rate for the first X kWh, and a higher rate for everything beyond that). So everyone's going to pay a different rate. Mine happens to be $0.079 per kWh. Electricity happens to be 2.1 times costlier than gas for me. Suck on that, salmon unable to spawn!Let's see what happens when we take the different costs of energy into account: New House (2400)Old House (910)(sq ft) $3.56$0.51Electricity cost per day $0.22$1.08Gas cost per day $3.78$1.59Total energy cost per day $0.16$0.17Daily energy cost per 100 sq ft Part 5: ConclusionEvery good lab report should have a conclusion.The new house is more than 2x as big, and I'm paying more than 2x more per day in energy costs, but controlled for the relative sizes of the two houses, it's about the same. The extra energy expense is just one of the hidden costs of living in a larger home. Some energy isn't dependent on the size of the house (washing dishes and laundry), and some is (lighting and heating). Thus it would make sense that the larger the house, the less energy you consume per sq ft. The old house was built in 2008 and had hydronic heating. The "new" house was built in 1911 and has those shitty rectangular wall heaters. So that probably cancels out the economy of scale.Lastly, I could look at the costs the other way and claim I'm "saving" a penny a day, so hold onto that bottle of Dom Pérignon, because at this rate I'll be able to afford it in about 41 years!Nerdgasm [...]



Tasting 5 year old MREs so you don't have to

Mon, 21 Mar 2011 00:02:10 GMT

Five years ago, I created a disaster kit for the twins and me. Since the shelf life of emergency rations is 5 years, and it would only be fair to have some supplies for Venessa and Lillia.It seemed like a shame to let MREs (which should last a couple decades) go to waste, just because they might be bad, so I decided to eat some of them and see how they are.Survival calorie barI decided to start with what I assumed would be the least palatable item, a calorie bar. They're in the emergency kit for in case we run out of MREs.Here's what each bar looks like. They were surprisingly good, with a taste of honey. They were very dry and crumbly though.Millenium BarMade around the beginning of the millenium. Expired last year.Not so bad, but not as good as the calorie bars. Also very dry and flakey.PB and crackersHow bad could these be?Looks and tastes like matzoh. The PB tasted like your average Jif or SkippyPearsThe datestamp says 5321, meaning they were packaged on the 321st day of 2005, or Nov 17, 2005They don't look very good, but maybe nothing looks good in a foil pouchAs with everything else, it tasted better than it looked"Mexican Rice"Packaged on Oct 31, 2005. This one scares me the most.The rice is in a solid block, so I didn't even need a fork. I just squeezed it up the tube and took a bite. It tasted ok, but the texture was so rubbery I had to stop eating itPumpkin Pound CakeFor tasking dessert, I enlisted the help of real life pastry chef, Venessa Goldberg, from Infamous Pastries.By the way, this is the oldest item in the kit. Packaged on Oct 07, 2004.It had something like the opposite of a desiccant inside, designed to keep moisture in but remove oxygen.Venessa immediately described it as "dry", but went on to describe the genuine pumpkin flavor, with notes of cinnamon and cloves.[...]