Not Martha

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Hi, I’m the Not Martha plumber. If you can see this post, it means this site has successfully transferred over to it’s new home. Yay!

· comments [10] · 06-30-2008 · categories:uncategorized ·

frozen grapes and cold beer for dinner

It’s been awfully hot here and we’re all moving a bit slow including, it seems, my site. Unexplainable technical difficulties have been plaguing me since last week so I’m in the midst of packing it all up and moving it to a new home. The site might blip away for a while, but don’t worry, I’ll return.

In the mean time I’ve been watching happily as my newly planted lavender blooms enough to let me cut a little bit this year. But only at night when it’s cooled down a bit. Man.

· comments [13] · 06-30-2008 · categories:mumbling ·

links: food

onion goat cheese tart and perfectly puffy popovers at Shelterrific

Hydrox are coming back, perhaps temporarily, at Chow

jim lahey’s potato pizza and 10 paths to painless pizza-making at Smitten Kitchen

I’d like to bake eggy-stink-free biscotti, but how? at Ask Metafilter

Bicicletta, a refreshing looking summer cocktail, at Hedonia

Simple, easy and elegant recipes that are always crowd pleasers: What are yours? at Ask Metafilter

Recipe: Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles at The Kitchen

Citrus Basil Cocktail at the Seattle PI

Sloe Gin Is Back, but Hold the Fizz and recipe for a Ramos Gin Fizz at the NY Times

Note to self: go try the Bitter End cocktail at Artemis

Homemade Ice Cream Drumsticks at Baking Bites

thing I want: ice princess, straw and ice mold from Fred & Friends

Safer than teflon, lighter than cast iron, it’s Ceramcor to the rescue, at Chow.

best supermarket cabernet picks, at The Kitchen

· comments [7] · 06-25-2008 · categories:drink · food · recipes ·

links: miscellanea

article about Garfidld Minus Garfield, and Jim Davis likes it! at the NY Times

Undeniable Examples of Women Geniuses? at Ask Metafilter

‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ for Grown-ups at NPR

What does the NYT Style Guide say about “UK” vs. “England” at Ask Metafilter. This thread taught me the meaning of the word fisking.

White Seamless Tutorial for photographing humans and human sized things, which I mention because I’m thrilled to find photography tutorials for things larger than a loaf of bread. Via A Whole Lotta Nothing.

Fifth Avenue puzzle apartment, this is amazing, via Girl Hacker.

Please help me make a cheap but kick ass version of the amazing Mystery on 5th Avenue apartment for a friend. at Ask Metafilter

What rituals do you have in your profession or job? at Ask Metafilter

· comments [2] · 06-25-2008 · categories:misc ·

The Lab at Velocity

The next Lab is this Wednesday, June 25th from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Velocity showroom in South Lake Union here in Seattle. This month the guests are PNW crafty ladies Kristen from Schmancy and Plush You, Moxie of Made By Moxie and Hansi of Hansigurumi. Kristen mentioned that the people at Craft have donated a box set of their first year of CRAFT along with their latest issue to give away. I’m looking forward to finding out more about how all of these ladies do their work.

· comments [3] · 06-24-2008 · categories:events · seattle ·

up to

Maybelline Express Finish nail polish in Plum Intense
The color turns out more red than the bottle suggests, but I love the outcome. It’s a nice balance between plum and wine, and is dramatic but not too dark against my pale skin. A reviewer at said the color turns out very much like Vamp. Also, the quick dry formula really does, and I managed to avoid bubbles even though I put on three coats.

Bambu compostable, single use veneerware
An eco-friendly alternative to plastic silverware, and it’s awfully cool looking. It’s equally good for twirling sesame noodles and spreading Nutella on baguette while lounging on a picnic blanket.

looking forward to:
Bottle Shock
A movie about the 1976 Paris Tasting that rocked the wine world? Starring Alan Rickman? Oh, yes please.

An old UK mini series about a secret part of the government that fights vampires. We’re half way through and the V-word hasn’t been used yet. It’s good despite being a bit dated, and it’s filling some of my X-Files nostalgia. (Note for anybody who might Netflix it – the sleeve it comes in describes the Milla Jovovich movie, but the disc inside is the BBC series, very confusing.)

red quinoa
I love regular quinoa, and an egg over quinoa has become my standard breakfast. But red quinoa? Yuck. Here are words that were used our table while trying this: “dirt”, “tastes like hippies”, “socks, dirty socks”, “it tastes… good for me”. Sorry, red quinoa, I gave you a shot.

· comments [29] · 06-23-2008 · categories:up to ·

question: Adam Frank’s Reveal light

Have you seen Adam Frank’s Reveal light in person? I want to know if it’s worth it.

Every now and then I’m tempted to buy the Reveal light, especially in the middle of the dark, dreary Seattle winters where the illusion of sunshine would be welcome. The light is just expensive enough that I have not gone for it yet, but not so expensive that I have stopped thinking about it. I’d really like to see how it looks in person, or at least a good video of how it looks in a room. The only video I’ve found (it’s on the Adam Frank site) is grainy and loops before I get a good impression. Is the motion is realistic enough to trick the corner of your eye? Does the fan inside it makes a significant amount of noise in an otherwise quiet room?

So, have you seen it? Is it worth the price? Be brutally honest, I’ll appreciate it. Leave a comment or email me (notmartha AT gmail DOT com) if you’d rather. My thanks.

update: I got to see one of these at Greener Lifestyles in Ballard. Up close it was still very cool, but I decided the fan was loud enough that it wouldn’t work in my tiny living room. My thanks to everybody who responded and to Properly Salted for finding it locally.

· comments [12] · 06-20-2008 · categories:shopping · the home ·

links: miscellanea

So you think you wanna elope, a very helpful and truthful guide by Cinnamon at Thanks Cinnamon!

Is longevity the curse of happiness? Know any happy 80-year-olds? at Ask Metafilter

What to do with 150+ plastic buckets? at Ask Metafilter. Bukkits!

Safety in the Tenderloin? (San Francisco) at Ask Metafilter

I’m looking for workout and weight loss podcasts and blogs. at Ask Metafilter

Recommendations for Sci-Fi while on the Treadmill? at Ask Metafilter

Knot tying cards, at Cool Tools

12 Bikes for Girls at Cool Hunting

The Slog reviews Penny Arcade Adventures: On The Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness, Episode One.

Resources for thrill seekers and general superhero/spy training in Texas? at Ask Metafilter

42 Awesome Business Card Designs at [Re]Encoded

Floral Arrangements for Engineers at Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories

Soft Reading Lenses, Stick-on magnifiers, at Cool Tools. These might be good for some of the more intricate sewing work.

Digg has a round up of all the mems that appear in Weezer’s Pork and Beans video. I, sadly, recognized nearly all of them.

What is being a baker or sous-chef like? at Ask Metafilter

A good, concise pep talk from Ira Glass, at Kottke.

HOW TO: Repair the Heels of Athletic Shoes at Craftzine

I’m looking for books set in subterranean locations. Caves, sewers, underground cities, hollow earth, etc. at Ask Metafilter

sticker shield at Cool Tools

NPR Road Trip Tool, cool, I didn’t know about this.

· comments [20] · 06-19-2008 · categories:links · mumbling ·

links: seattle

The Dray, in Ballard, mere blocks from where we used to live, further proof that when we move away from some place things improve quite drastically.

Searching for Jewish Sustenance in the Goytastic Northwest, at The Stranger.

Quick and Dirty Guide to the Olympic Peninsula at Mental Wanderings

Apartment Therapy on Jim Denevan, the name of an artist I was trying to remember last week. Check out his site and tell you won’t hope to stumble across his work someday.

olympic peninsula weekend, part one: lake crescent lodge at Shelterrific

restaurant i love: silence-heart-nest, it’s vegetarian, at Straight From the Container

Circus Contraption at Seattlest

parks we love at Seattlest

Seattle Public Library Ask A Librarian on IM, yay

· comments [2] · 06-19-2008 · categories:seattle ·

trying out two rain jackets

I recently tried out two rain jackets. I realize it’s June but, tragically, here in Seattle I still need rainwear. I was looking for jackets in colors that weren’t girly, something that kept rain off my glasses, and something that fit over my average sized hips and whatever sweater I might be wearing at the moment.

Land’s End AquaCheck Jacket

I really liked this jacket except for one crucial detail which I’ll get to. It is lightweight and packable into one of it’s own pockets, the hood stores away in the collar, the bottom is cut wide enough to allow for wearing a bulky sweater underneath, the Napoleon pocket would allow for a iPod, I even liked the pocket on the sleeve. Only, the visor on the hood of the first one I got was hopelessly bent, and it’s not something I could fix by ironing it. A little excellent customer service later and I had a second jacket, with a visor that was less severely bent but no more likely to shield my face from rain. I tried getting the visor to stay flatish by putting weight on it over night, but no luck. I returned the jacket, but Land’s End, if you ever figure out that hood thing, give me a call.

L.L. Bean Weather Challenger Jacket

I’m a little shy about prices like the one on this jacket, but in this instance I think it’s worth it. It came highly recommended by a friend, and everybody who has one likes it. The jacket has a zip in fleece liner, which is fine to wear on it’s own, and the jacket allows me to wear a sweater under both layers if I wanted. It’s not packable, but it’s nice and sturdy, the hood stores away in the collar and the visor of the hood has a rigid plastic frame which prevents any of the tragedy above. (This jacket also comes in a lovely combination of two green colors which the site is not currently showing but I suspect will reappear at some point as I watched the black/gray color disappear and return earlier this year.)

I was undecided on this jacket for a while but found myself wearing it in a few situations where it proved itself. First was a trip to the Olympic Peninsula where I was glad to have it for a hike in the woods, a walk in the rain forest and visits to very windy beaches. The second was a point where I walked a few miles in the rain and discovered all the ways the hood could be adjusted so you could really cinch yourself in, but still see out from under the hood. Also, all the little metal bits on the inside of the collar are nicely covered with fleece so they don’t rub against your chin or neck when you’re really hunkered down.

So, I kept this one and I’m feeling oddly secure to know that, if I wanted, I’d be all set to go hiking in some freezing rain.

I also looked at L.L Bean’s less expensive Storm Chaser jacket. One of the main reasons I didn’t choose it is that it doesn’t have a collar that stands up separate of the hood. I really like being able to stay snug while in a situation where I’ll be putting the hood up and down a lot. This is one of those features I didn’t know about until I started shopping for jackets, so I thought it might be worth mentioning here.

Two wishlist features:

– A two way zipper that will upzip from the bottom up, which will make it easier to wear while driving. You know, for those moments where it’s pouring but I just need to return some books to the library, just a quick in-and-out of the car moment. While I’d like to claim I’ll only be wearing my hi-tech jacket for hiking in treacherous weather, the truth is I’ll be wearing around town a lot more often.

– A hood made deep enough to accommodate a ponytail. Outerwear manufacturers of the world, I’ll be your first loyal customer for this one.

· comments [19] · 06-18-2008 · categories:shopping ·

links: food

Gordon’s cup, at Orangette. It includes lime, cucumbers and a pinch of salt, sounds perfect.

chocolate covered bacon! at Strange Fruit

really pretty meatloaf cupcakes at Fine Furious Life

Vietnamese-Style Coffee on a Stick, oh baby, at Yum Sugar

Easy Pb&J Jar at Baking Bites, who finds the greatest stuff

Eat Drink or Die, videos on food and drink

Oh! A Rickroll birthday cake! at Craftzine

The Art of Sculpting a Watermelon at Chow

summer cocktails, at The Kitchen

Recipe: Easy Ricotta Gnocchi, at The Kitchen

Chard, Ricotta and Hazelnut Pasta Sauce, oh that sounds good, at Domicile

Rehabbing the Whiskey Sour, at Seattle Weekly

We’re going camping for a few nights in Tahoe. The gf and I are both foodies. I’d like to come up with some fun, more-interesting-than-average campfire food. at Ask Metafilter

at The Food Section:

how Yelp works

the Blumenburger, 30 ingredients, takes a day to make, I’m intrigued

touch your tomatoes

DIY candied peanuts

specialty ice cubes, including the Muji molds that I love

· comments [9] · 06-17-2008 · categories:drink · food ·

links: craft

How can I get a custom sweater pattern developed? at Ask Metafilter

how to make a repeat pattern, at Design*Sponge

Denyse Schmidt’s “County Fair” in cavas weight, oh good! at Craftzine

The Eight Dollar Dress, a faux-smocked dress at Burda Style, via Craftzine

refashioning a pullover sweater into a cardigan, via Craftzine

Curbly’s ten minute grommet workshop, via Craftzine

Are there any trendy, fashion-forward fabric and sewing-pattern shops online? at Ask Metafilter

better bind off, at The Purl Bee

· comments [0] · 06-17-2008 · categories:craft · sewing ·

up to

GUS Soda
It stands for Grown-up Soda, which isn’t too sweet, and I like it. Right now I have the grapefruit but I’m curious to taste the other flavors.

Meerkat Manor
I’m late to this show, but I was hooked after ten seconds. I couldn’t place the narrator’s voice at first, it’s Sean Astin.

Kerrygold butter
After using to make Irish Soda Bread I cannot go back to normal sticks of butter.

being amused by:
Garmin Nuvi
We were given this as a gift and I love watching it recalculate as we drive home the way we know is easiest, even if it’s not the most direct. Sadly, we have yet to get to use it when we’re headed someplace we don’t know how to get to already.

Tanqueray Rangpur gin
It’s a flavored gin that I find far too sweet, yuck. Read tasting notes at Slashfood.

· comments [21] · 06-16-2008 · categories:up to ·

easy peasy curried chicken salad

My local market has a curried chicken salad among their prepared foods which I love and buy often. This is an expensive habit so I decided it was time to try to make it myself. It was unanimously voted a success in our two-person house.

curried chicken salad

– the meat from one rotisserie chicken, cut into pieces that are good for a fork

– three stalks of celery, sliced into nice half moons (maybe less, I like celery a lot and tend to overdo it)

Vegenaise (I realize one could use mayo but I think the salad tastes really great with this stuff)

– peas, frozen are fine, warm up and cool down again

– cashews, unsalted, slightly toasted

– lemon juice, just a squirt

– curry powder, something mild and bright yellow

– garlic (I skipped this because we, gasp, didn’t have any in the house)

I mixed together some Vegenaise and curry powder, the put everything else into a big bowl and mixed the curry mixture into it. Squeeze a little lemon on top and mix in. I estimated all amounts, maybe half a cup of peas and half a cup of cashews? I used about a third of a jar of the Vegenaise and probably a few teaspoons of curry powder.

Vegenaise was something that was new to me, and I was surprised to find it at a regular big box type store. I learned from reading the site that it’s always in the refrigerated section, and in this case it was over near the natural foods, in the case with egg substitutes and meatless chicken nuggets.

I have a sad excuse for curry powder and I’m hoping to use it up soon so I can go and buy the Madras curry powder or this curry powder from Chefshop.

· comments [36] · 06-13-2008 · categories:food · recipes ·

technical difficulties are the worst

Oops, this site was down for a good part of yesterday, sorry about that. If you came here from a feed reader hoping to enter the boygirlparty giveaway yesterday and were dee-nied, I promise it’s safe to come back. Though, you might not see your comment for about 15 minutes even if I don’t have to approve it. This is all part of those technical difficulties (which I hope to have resolved shortly).

· comments [1] · 06-12-2008 · categories:mumbling ·