Friday, September 30, 2011

Peaceful Potpourri

Farmers Market Dude
The Thursday Farmer's Market turns out to be my favorite.  I have a "vegetable guy" and an "apple guy".  The veg guy, mentioned in a previous post, seems to like me more each week.  This week he remembered me, though he hasn't gotten my name down just yet (and vice versa).  I purchased several tomatoes from him to add to this Jamie Oliver Favorite (a healthy-ish Baked Ziti for those who don't want to click the link), and a long-necked pumpkin that I told him I was going to brew beer with.  His interest piqued at the mention of beer and apparently he will be more than happy to trade food for homebrewed beer if I were to bring him some.  Rules be damned!  

The long-necked pumpkin is supposedly more like a butternut squash than a pumpkin, both in looks and taste.  This is good because a butternut squash is what I actually wanted  for the beer but they must not be in season quite yet.  The plan is to roast it and add to the brew with some freshly ground nutmeg and some honey if I'm feeling adventurous.

HOT Compost
Dan was out stirring/aerating/pitchforking the compost pile last night and noticed for the first time that it is HOT!  This is a very exciting development because that is exactly how a compost pile is supposed to be, and exactly how ours has never been.  Looks like we will have some nutritious dirt to spread over the next things we decide to plant.  Hooray!

Dan attributes this recent success to the fact that he has been stirring/aerating/pitchforking the pile recently.  We didn't have the right tool before and clumsily tried to stir it with a giant shovel.  Recently we've acquired a pitchfork and this seems to be doing a much better job.


Ruminations on Bike Commuting
I have ridden my bike to work about 500% more than last year, meaning that my previous number was "0" and this year it is around "5".  With the weather turning crisp and cool (and less wet please??), I am hoping to squeeze more bike commuting days into my schedule.  The following describes my experience today:
  • The first section of the ride goes through tree-lined pathways that are for walkers, joggers, and bikers only.  It is so pleasant!  Everyone says hello and I feel relaxed and happy to be out among them.  Endorphins are good!
  • The second part of the ride is short and is done on a sidewalk because it would otherwise be on a busy four-lane street with no shoulder.  Why don't all roads have shoulders?
  • Later, I am on an exit ramp with a WIDE and luxurious shoulder.  It ends as abruptly as the exit ramp does.  Who designed this?
  • There is a small part of the ride, very close to work, with no shoulder AND no sidewalk (again, why?).  Drivers feel more aggressive the closer they get to their destination.  They seem furious at my mere presence on their road.    
  • The absolute worst driver of the morning needed to make a right turn at the gym at the same time that I needed to go straight past the gym.  They wanted to speed up and beat me to the turn/run me over, but ended up slamming on their brakes as rational thoughts overtook murderous ones.  No wonder this person was unpleasant- they were rushing to the gym to work out in a futile attempt to offset the hours they spend sitting at work only to then rush home, probably eat, and do more sitting.
Conclusion: if everyone biked to work, at least some things would be better.

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