Trust Chianti more than me

I am throwing a potluck dinner on Friday. I was trying to figure out what to cook for my entry. I was waffling (no pun intended) between Gorchaboff (my staple potluck recipe) or spaghetti. I have a new pasta maker so I was leaning towards the latter, to show off delicious fresh-made pasta.
Last night was my usual spaghetti night. So I thought it would be an excellent way to do a dry run of pasta making. I’m glad I did. It didn’t turn out well.
Maybe I didn’t make the dough properly; I trusted the bread machine for that. I think I let it dry for too long while I was struggling with other parts. In any case, the majority of spaghetti came out in 2cm chunks.
It was still edible, but I don’t think I can trust myself to make good pasta with it when under a time pressure of people coming over.
Maybe next time.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego

I have given myself a personal challenge. It started simply when I needed a mental break at work. I tried to memorize the countries along the coastline of the Americas. Once I had that down pat, I started the same thing with the other hemisphere. I can now, reasonably, name every country along the coastline of the world.
There wasn’t any point to it. Just to make myself a more knowledgeable person. Or maybe it was so that if there is ever another internet quiz asking for placement of countries, I will rock it.
An incidental benefit came to me today. I was reading a news article, and it started mentioning countries in Africa. For the first time, I had a good idea as to where those countries were. Previously I was just aware that they were somewhere in that big continent, but the actual placement wasn’t important to me. Now I feel more comfortable with that, and it is a good feeling.
So, I guess my personal challenge is to learn geography better. The coastline quiz was a good start, but there are other countries that have no coastline. And other countries that are nothing but coastline. I have to figure out some pattern that will let me solidly place them in my head.
I’m thinking of working on the caribbean next. The Lesser Antilles is a nice conga line of islands that I should be able to memorize.

Homework: Quiz me at any time to name the countries along the coastline starting from any point. If it is unexpected, the better it is to test me.

Overweight Donkeys and the People Who Love Them

Today I did an ultra. A small 50km one. (Small is relative.) I call it the Obese Donkey, but if you change it to synonyms you can figure out the actual name.
It was bloody cold!
I dressed fairly well for the weather. And the first loop of 25km wasn’t unpleasant. Then the wind picked up. And my gloves weren’t good enough. I should have been wearing mittens. It didn’t help that I was running with slow people. But it wasn’t a race. Well it was, but I was mostly treating it as a training run. Towards the end, I just wanted it over, and I left behind my friends.
Afterwards, I grabbed a lunch from Booster Juice and then went home and wrapped myself up in my electric blanket. That was the best time I’ve ever had with that thing.
Although I need to ice my ankle now. It isn’t feeling great. I’m wondering if I can do that while wrapped in the electric blanket…
But, I’ve also ordered a pizza, so I am going to go pick that up now and hork it down while watching a movie.

New Year’s Eve Aftermath

It was ten years ago today that I started blogging. Back then it was on LiveJournal, but now I’ve moved entirely to WordPress on my own hosted domain. The move to the new system wasn’t entirely smooth; I lost every comment written. LiveJournal doesn’t really want to help me get them back; punishment for leaving. I do have a plan for how to get them, but it only works because I am a packrat that never threw away an email.
It is interesting to look at my first entry and compare it with today.
I had fears that my mother might start reading it. She never did except when I went on epic vacations.
I used to go out to bars and bemoan how miserable I was at them. (A decade ago New Year’s Eve was no exception.) That was because I was socially inept. Now I barely ever go out to bars. I think I will dabble with that in the future, but with better perspective. I’m enjoying time spent with friends much more.
I ran on New Year’s day back then. That was for the Resolution Run, a 5km run that the Running Room puts on. A month ago, I heard that this year’s run had already run out of large and extra-large t-shirts. That gives you an idea of the body type of people who go to it. In fact, I did a run today that was over 5km, and involved a lot of stairs. I think I’m better than the Resolution Run now.
The biggest reminder I get when I look over my old posts is how much I hate my younger self. He was an idiot, and had poor social skills. I’ll probably think the same about myself now in ten years. Hopefully this will motivate myself to be better.
Because, although I have improved, I still have trouble socializing.