(image via 4 Wheel Drive)
Reading: I put away the Chemistry for Dummies and picked up Algebra Survival Guide: A Conversational Guide for the Thoroughly Befuddled. I’m not very good at math so I’ve decided just to work through some high-school level books. I took a math course in university but for some reason it just doesn’t stick. I’m also reading Popular Mechanics (Apr 2013).
Doing: Online shopping. Now before you get all mad at me for breaking my promise not to buy unnecessary things, I have an excuse. I had some Chapters gift certificates to use so I bought some books with them. And okay, the Pottery Barn Star Wars sheeting (for my camp room) was completely unnecessary; I did it because I don’t have a credit card and found a set on ebay that I could buy through Paypal.
I regret nothing.
Do you want to know what books I bought? Here’s the list:
- 62 Projects To Make With A Dead Computer. I have a few dead computers in my office. I think I can make something with them.
- Wookiee Pies, Clone Scones, and Other Galactic Goodies. For all my Star Wars baking needs, of course.
- MAKE: Electronics: Learning Through Discovery. I like things that make noise, light up, and do stuff. I’m a nerd.
- The Book of Perfectly Perilous Math. I’m working through some early high-school level math books so I thought this would be fun.
- Knits of Tomorrow: Toys and Accessories for your Retro-Future Needs. A retro knitting book that looks really cool! I can’t wait to knit the cassette tape design.
- Top Secret: A Handbook Of Codes, Ciphers And Secret Writing. Another easy book for young people. Since I’m not very good at this sort of thing, it’s perfect for me.
- Creating Characters with Personality. I made a small goal to learn some cartooning this year; I like retro and old-school styles so this seemed to fit the bill.
- Humongous Book Of Cartooning. Just like the book I just listed, this also has a retro feel so exactly what I’m looking for.
- The Star Wars Craft Book. I like Star Wars and I like crafting.
- The Creative License. Another creativity book to add to my collection. I think I used to own it but misplaced it a few years ago.
Eating: I had carrots, and a cantaloupe protein smoothie for lunch. It was delicious.
Drinking: Coffee, water, and some ginger-lemon tea.
Wearing: jeans and my “You’re So Obtuse” t-shirt from Thinkgeek.
Feeling: I’m alright I guess. It’s a quiet day, not much going on. I feel a lot better now that I’m normalized my blood sugar again. Definitely feeling carb-shy.
Weather: *le sigh* Cloudy and 1C with some snow and rain mixed throughout the day. It was snowing this morning…
Wanting: to finish my Ultimate Nerdy Bucket List. I have 382 items on it so far and I’m only half way there :)
Needing: To vent! Read on.
Thinking: that some men need really stop talking. No guy ever says to his buddy, “You only spend an hour a day in your vehicle so you don’t need a custom stereo. The stock system will be fine for your needs.” Or how about, “You don’t really need to buy a truck since you only really require one about twice a year. You should consider a Honda Civic.” And also; “you don’t need a home theatre system and 80 inch flat-screen TV. You’re so busy you won’t get much time to use it. Just watch movies on your tablet”.
But if you’re a woman, a guy will definitely say, “Tell her she doesn’t need a Jeep Rubicon. It has all these features she’s never going to use anyways. Tell her to be sensible, just get something more basic. Anything more would be a waste of money.”
Apparently, women aren’t allowed to own cool things for the sake of them being cool. They should be sensible and just stick to easy and basic things. Well I call shenanigans! If I want to spend my money on a Jeep Rubicon Unlimited then that’s what I’m going to do. I’m never basic or boring, and I’m only sensible enough not to get killed.
Enjoying: Typing out that mini-rant. I needed to vent. Thanks for reading.
No one can really feel at home in the modern world and judge the nature of its problems— and the possible solutions to those problems— unless one has some intelligent notion of what science is up to. Furthermore, initiation into the magnificent world of science brings great aesthetic satisfaction, inspiration to youth, fulfillment of the desire to know, and a deeper appreciation of the wonderful potentialities and achievements of the human mind.
(The Night and the Milky Way © Wilson Lee)
(Guinness Stout Brownies at Blondie’s Cakes & Things)
(The sound the universe makes: Janna Levin on TED.com)
I’ve been listening to How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space by Janna Levin on audiobook. The content is solid but I can barely stand to listen to the narrator, Christine Williams.
Although a book of science, it’s written as a set of personal letters. This audiobook needed to be read by a woman with a softer and almost wistful quality to her voice. Instead, Christina Williams narrates it with a sharp, almost tomboyish edge (think Jodi Foster) which is jarring and doesn’t match the personal content. The topics of topology and a finite Universe are fascinating. I wanted to be drawn in and enchanted but I wasn’t, and that’s too bad.
I have, however, enjoyed a couple Dark ‘n’ Stormies thanks to my ability to hunt down a bottle of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. I also snuck in a bottle of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout. Both were delicious and I’m only sad I don’t have more bottles of the stout.
I’ve also spent my day listening to Ghosts I-IV, and a collection of instrumental music I received from the boys at hppodcraft.com for making a donation. Both are fantastic and compliment a rainy day full of reading.
I did finish the first season of Haven. I’m on the fence about it but will speak on it another day. I’m off to get in a couple more hours of reading before I inevitably and blissfully fall asleep.
(Dark ‘n’ Stormy photo © Dreamy Dish)
I’m usually content with a glass of good beer or red wine. I guess it’s because there is an organic earthiness to each that I find appealing. That probably explains why I love coffee and tea as well; because of the earthy flavours and qualities.
I also like scotch and rum and am very fond of a drink called the Dark ‘n’ Stormy which combines ginger beer and Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. The rum is a “black rum distilled from molasses”. Molasses and ginger beer also have that earthy flavour I enjoy so it’s no surprise the Dark ‘n’ Stormy is my favourite mixed drink. Here is the recipe from the Ministry of Rum (which is a great site and I encourage you, dear reader, to visit). I find this is my favourite recipe due to the addition of a bit of lime juice.
Dark and Stormy
Method: build in glass
* 50ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
* 10ml lime juice
* dash gomme syrup
* top with ginger beer
I don’t make my Dark ‘n’ Stormies in tall glasses like in the picture above. I prefer to use the traditional 8 oz highball glass. I also tend to call my Dark ‘n’ Stormy a Foggy & Wet because I have to substitute for the Gosling’s Black Seal Rum since I can never seem to buy it locally.
I know it’s weird I’ve talked a lot about alcohol the past few days. I don’t drink very often but usually around this time of year (midsummer) and all the way through to Yule, I find myself drinking more. I don’t know why, but I don’t really like drinking alcohol in the winter except for warm drinks like ciders or spiked coffees.
Onto other lovely things. I created a small list of books I want to finish reading before the new year. I want to get through the stack of books in my makeshift queue so I can stop feeling easily distracted and lazy. Here is my reading list:
- Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
- The Confusion by Neal Stephenson
- The System of the World by Neal Stephenson
- The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
- Philosophical Breakfast Club by Laura Snyder
- Sphere by Michael Crichton
- State of Fear by Michael Crichton
- Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
- Under the Dome by Stephen King
- Tommyknockers by Stephen King
- Cell by Stephen King
- The Soul of the Night: An Astronomical Pilgrimage by Chet Raymo
- The Planets by Dava Sobel (I think she’s fantastic. I am such a Dava Sobel fangirl. And yes, the book is the same one I’ve listened to a dozen times in audio format.)
(Salted Caramel and Chocolate Stout Whoopie Pies at Endless Simmer)
I often find myself easily distracted. It’s hard for me to resist a well-crafted hyperlink. I started out the morning checking on my Amazon order status. They have The Universe DVD’s, all 5 seasons, on sale for $65. Even though I find the show more suited to Americans raised on Spike TV and TNT, it does offer some scientific value. Once you get past the ‘everything in the Universe is trying to kill us’ emphasize, the series has something to teach you.
I also ordered:
- Earth: The Biography
- Nova: Telescope - Hunting the Edge of Space
- The Story of Math
- Inside the Milky Way (2010)
- How the Universe Works
I figured those should keep me entertained while I knit my dad’s sweater. I have a long stretch of 8 weeks at camp between my days off in August and Thanksgiving in October.
I thought about Thanksgiving and remembered that I should tell fellow beer drinkers about Canadian Beer News. It helped me find Sherbrooke Liquor’s Heartstopper Hot Chocolate Stout which I decided would pair nicely with Spiced Mayan Chocolate Coated Walnuts.
Of course then I found Howe Sound Beer’s (@howesoundbeer) Pumpkineater ale and Phillips Brewing Company’s Longboat Chocolate Porter. At that point I was wishing I was home in BC where I am able to taste such delights. Finally, I found a recipe for Guinness and Bailey’s Irish Cream Cupcakes. I figure cupcakes are OK and long as they’re made with booze.
This is how I get distracted. From science to beer to beer filled desserts I’ll probably never eat but which I can still appreciate. If I do try one of the recipes it will probably be the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Stout Whoopie Pies. I love salted caramel and chocolate stout so it’s a win all around.