Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Electric mower

I have a Ryobi cordless electric mower that has served me well for the past eight years and is still going strong. Unfortunately, they don't make it anymore, but here's another option: the Neuton. It provides only a 14" cut rather than the 18" that my mower has, but it has several desirable features that my mower doesn't have, such as an available extra lift-out battery.

Either mower (as well as a corded electric mower) will pollute significantly less than a gas mower does. Mowing with a gas mower for an hour produces the same amount of pollution as driving a car 50 miles.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Funny discussion

While looking for another article, I came across an MSN discussion board thread on the topic of best and worst wedding gifts. Some of the worst gifts are hilarious, and many of the best gifts are touching. It's adding some levity to the whole wedding planning thing.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dadblogging: Articles and brochures

Instead of mailing me stuff, my dad brought it with him last weekend.

* Brochure from Anthem on physical activity
* Chicago Tribune article "A lot rides on damaged alloy wheels"
* A diagram he drew of something that may have to do with water pipes
* A printout of a Yahoo article on Constellation Energy Group
* A Jim Mateja review of the 2007 Saturn Aura Green Line hybrid
* Some Toyota promotional material from England
* The official guide from the Chicago Auto Show
* A savings card from the auto show for 10% off at Firestone
* A CD sampler from Scion
* A cool metal Scion keychain (mattindy77, it's yours if you want it)
* A GTI pen holder (like the Beetle ones) complete with a set of stickers to customize it
* Honda, Toyota, and Scion promotional material
* Chevy Volt and Corvette promotional material
* Saturn and Chrysler promotional material

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sour beef

When I was growing up, my parents would sometimes make traditional Czech foods. One of them that I enjoyed was sour beef and dumplings. We only ate it a couple of times per year because it's pretty time-intensive to make.

My dad came to visit last weekend and brought me a couple of servings that he'd frozen. (He makes it a lot more often now that he's retired again.) I was more than a little concerned that it might be the kind of food that you had to eat while growing up in order to stomach, let alone love, but Steph liked it a lot. I didn't take a picture because, well, it's not the most attractive-looking dinner.

I don't have my dad's recipe yet, but I Googled the phrase last night and found a few, none of which look like they're the one our family uses. I also found information about some restaurants in Baltimore that serve it. The Czech word for dumplings is spelled knedlicky; it's pronounced KLED-neek in my family. Most people seem to make small individual dumplings, whereas we make large ones and then slice them.

My Czech vocabulary is very small, and I have difficulty locating the correct spellings of the few words I do know because they aren't phonetic. A number of years ago my cousins and I compared the Czech words we knew from our dads, and we discovered we knew different ones. They know the word for mashed potatoes, for example, while I know the words for facial hair, pacifier, and tail (as in "dog following you around," not "appendage on the back of animals."

Monday, May 14, 2007

Art car v2.2

My first and second visions for turning my 1993 Honda Accord into an art car have proven to be unworkable, so I have a new implementation of an old idea: I'm going to decoupage quotes onto the car and seal it with some sort of acrylic or polyurethane sealer to make it waterproof.

My second plan was to use letters cut from bumper stickers to make the quotes, but there just aren't that many free bumper stickers out there, so it finally occurred to me to cut the letters out of magazines, ads, and other found objects and decoupage them onto the car. The background for each quote will be a different piece of colored or patterned paper so that observers can tell the quotes apart. Last night I bought some scrapbooking paper at Costco, and then I came home and started cutting out letters. I'm sorting and storing them in a many-sectioned tool organizer. I've been collecting quotes for some time, although I'll probably need more than I think I will. Feel free to suggest your favorite quotes in the comments.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

long time no blog

That day of silence turned into a week and a half somehow. Oops.