Not Martha

links: misc

More Misery! More Death! More Cruelty!: The Onset Of Dystopia Fatigue : NPR. On why people like Glee. Might I also recommend How I Met Your Mother?

The Ice Bulb, using LEDs frozen inside. At Instructables.

Brand hijacking | Ask MetaFilter.

What digital version of Infinite Jest should I buy? Kindle or iPad? | Ask MetaFilter. Asking specifically about the footnotes support for each device.

This Picture Was Taken 24 Miles In the Air With A Crappy Camera Attached To A Balloon, at Gizmodo. Neat.

Awesome podcasts? I’m looking for some really captivating, funny, and/or interesting podcasts to keep me occupied during a long, boring commute. | Ask MetaFilter.

Help me build an awesome care package for a band on tour. | Ask MetaFilter.

‘This American Life’ Completes Documentation Of Liberal, Upper-Middle-Class Existence | The Onion.

· comments [4] · 06-30-2010 · categories:links · misc ·

Firecracker Chocolate Pudding

[spicy chocolate pudding in jars]

I was so pleased that iVillage asked me to provide a recipe for a Fourth of July round up. I certainly don’t hide the fact that I’m not a very good cook so I went simple, and at the same time found a reason to reuse those glass jars that held the blueberry cobbler earlier this year. I made spicy chocolate pudding. All of the recipes, and I was in good company indeed, can be found here. update: The link to the complete set has disappeared!

· comments [24] · 06-29-2010 · categories:food ·

green kettle corn anybody?

[kettle corn with green colored sugar coating]

First let’s do this: I do not recommend trying coloring your kettle corn, the green coloring paste sputtered in the hot oil and is a dangerous, bad thing. I’m shocked I didn’t once again come away nursing a burn.

That said, green popcorn! This is the kettle corn recipe from Savory Sweet Life. I made it for myself one night and was so pleased with how it turned out that I decided to make a second batch for Scott when he got home. Of course I couldn’t just leave well enough, I had to endanger myself with some experimenting. It was fun to see how it turned our tongues green though.

I made half a recipe in a four quart pot and didn’t have trouble with the sugar caramelizing or the popcorn overfilling the pot.

· comments [10] · 06-28-2010 · categories:food ·

paper lantern project for Make, Grow, Gather

[paper lantern decorated with layers of orange tissue]

I was so happy to be asked to contribute an easy summer project as part of a series over at Make, Grow, Gather. I made some decorated paper lanterns using ones that we had left over from our wedding reception last summer. Remember that childrens craft that involves twisting small squares of tissue paper around the eraser end of a pencil, dipping that in glue and then using them to decorate something, usually a paper plate? I did the same thing, only larger. They turned out looking like flower pomanders, as well as looking a bit more festive. Here is a before and after:

[paper lantern decorated with layers of orange tissue]

· comments [17] · 06-24-2010 · categories:craft ·

DIY Gin, take two

[juniper berries spending time hanging out in some gin]

I made another batch of infused gin, this time using a recipe from Gourmet magazine. I like it a lot more that the first try. This one didn’t call for orange zest, which made a big difference for me since I find orange zest overwhelms everything it comes into contact with.

Ian’s Gin Recipe
(with some very small changes by

  • 1 (750ml) bottle of inexpensive vodka (I ran mine through a Brita filter a few times)
  • 2 Tbsp juniper berries
  • 3/4 tsp coriander seed
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf, torn into pieces (I used dried)
  • 1 (3-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 (2-inch-long) fresh lemon or lime peel (I used lemon and would avoid lime, then again I say this based on the single time I tried a lime infused gin and didn’t find I liked it)
  • 1 (1-inch) sprig fresh lavender (I used about a teaspoon of dried culinary lavender)

Infuse juniper in the vodka overnight. Add remaining spices and herbs in the morning and let infuse all day. When you get home from work, strain out the botanicals and start making your favorite gin cocktails.

· comments [11] · 06-24-2010 · categories:drink · food ·

links: technology

OffMaps. Offline maps, at Kottke.

Playstation 3 – Which to console buy? | Ask MetaFilter.

Sexy Videogameland: You Look Nice, Miss. Woah. I’ve lived on the west coast for so long I forgot what it was like to walk through parts of New York.

What’s the best-crafted mobile game you’ve ever played? | Ask MetaFilter.

Should I buy an iPad and Reviews Of the iPad Three Weeks Later and I’m seriously considering buying an iPad. I’d like to hear what others who have bought an iPad feel about the device in the months that they have been using it. and About a week ago, I read an iPad buyer’s guide on one of the tech blogs that basically said, “if you’re looking for a productivity tool, buy this model. If you’re looking for an entertainment device, buy the other model.”

Design*Sponge » biz ladies: get a website in a weekend. Walks you through setting up a WordPress blog on your own domain, very handy.

· comments [4] · 06-23-2010 · categories:links · technology ·

three paper things

[three clever paper items]

Here are a few clever paper things that I have caught my eye recently. The first is this set of individual cupcake stands by Hello Hanna, each set is packed flat and you assemble them. I can assure you that they are very cute in person.

The second thing is this memo cube with a small drawer for wrangling things like paperclips. It’s designed by Oh Joy! and sold by Chronicle Books.

The last is this blank memo cube meant to be decorated by rubber stamps, and it’s got a hole that is cut down through most of the pages that is made to hold a pen. Handy.

· comments [6] · 06-22-2010 · categories:shopping ·

links: food

How can you make water more filling? | Ask MetaFilter. blog : How-To: Hard Candy Jewels.

Aunt Jemima Does Pigs In A Blanket, at Jezebel. I’ve made bacon stuffed waffles before, but I love these pancakes, must make them soon.

How to preheat a frying pan.

What’s a higher quality or darker chocolate version of Nestle Crunch? | Ask MetaFilter. Good question.

Crumpets and Cakes: cucumber gimlet. Via Liqurious.

Tea & Cookies: Clean Out the Fridge Frittata. I have eaten this (the very one in the photo I believe) and it was amazing.

· comments [5] · 06-21-2010 · categories:food · links ·

links: travel

How could I ensure that a surprise trip overseas with my wife remains a surprise for her, without any logistical hiccups? | Ask MetaFilter. My favorite response: “… if I showed up at the airport and found out that the suitcase I’d packed for a week in Kansas City was really going with me to Paris, I would probably hate you. And cry.”

How to help a carsick 2-year-old? | Ask MetaFilter.

Where should two lazy, crazy kids honeymoon in Maui? | Ask MetaFilter.

Foodista Blog – Eating My Way Through Iceland.

· comments [6] · 06-18-2010 · categories:links · travel ·

links: craft

I’m getting my first sewing machine. What sewing machine should I buy? | Ask MetaFilter. blog : Sewing 101: Hems. blog : How-To: Sew a Tissue Paper Garland.

Molly’s Sketchbook: New Year’s Garland – the purl bee – the purl bee.

· comments [3] · 06-17-2010 · categories:craft · links ·

links: holidays, Father’s Day

DIY Father’s Day Gift for Your Superhero | Alphamom. Created by Jordan Ferney, fantastic!

Father’s Day Gift Guide: Theo Chocolate and Beer Pairing Kit. blog : How-To: Etched Glasses for Father’s Day.

My family is very practical when it comes to gift giving so my favorite place to look for gifts for things like Father’s Day is Cool Tools, a collection of reviews of stuff of all kinds that simply work.

· comments [2] · 06-16-2010 · categories:holidays ·

Father’s Day project for Holidash

Fathers Day car kit

My latest project is up over at Holidash! This time for Father’s Day, it’s a car kit full of useful things for your dad (or your favorite father) to keep in his glovebox. I’ve included things like a flashlight, pen, sunscreen, digital tire gauge, tissues, bandages, and disinfecting wipes. All stuff that will make dad into a well prepared superhero for any situation. I have full instructions on how to create the easy organizer with ideas on how to personalize it. I even provide the super dad logo if you’d like to use it.

Fathers Day car kit

· comments [34] · 06-15-2010 · categories:craft ·

links: misc

Tea & Cookies: Morel Mushroom Hunting, and A Life Lesson. That’s it, morel hunting is going on my life list, if I ever get around to making one.

I am so sad to hear of the passing of Tobias Wong, I really liked the things he designed. One of the more recognizable things to me was the Sun Jar. Two articles on him: If It’s Hip, It’s Here: The Work Of Tobias Wong. May He Redesign Heaven. and Remembering Tobias Wong.

Video of a man exposed to total vacuum. At Kottke.

The High Definite » Nothing New To Report. Screenshots of a dozen tv shows where people are reading the same newspaper. And Slate’s follow up article with the prop house.

Wasteland of material goods | Ask MetaFilter. “Our stores are full of billions of items. What percentage of these things actually get bought and used? What happens to it all in the end?”

Vintage seed bombing | Ask MetaFilter. Trying to find a better container for seed bombs than latex balloons. I really like the suggestion to use filled eggshells instead.

· comments [5] · 06-14-2010 · categories:links · misc ·

anniversary cake

chocolate cake with white icing

The other weekend I wanted to make cake. So I did. Two, in fact, but neither was good enough for me to offer a recipe for. I’ll just have to keep working on that.

chocolate cake with white icing

And on Saturday Scott reminded me that it was the 10 year anniversary of us packing our stuff into a truck and driving from Cleveland to San Francisco. We didn’t have an apartment ready to move into, it was the year 2000, dot coms ruled the world and everything was crazy and exciting. So we put ten candles on the cake to mark the anniversary.

chocolate cake with white icing

A few months after we arrived the dot com bust happened and suddenly nobody had jobs.

chocolate cake with white icing

I never liked living in San Francisco.

chocolate cake with white icing

Nobody ever seemed happy. Muni left us stranded far too many times. The city had a way of feeling too crowded and creepily deserted on the same day. A trip to the grocery store shouldn’t have been as challenging as it was.

chocolate cake with white icing

Ages ago Megnut put a story on her old site about finding a parking spot for her car that she didn’t need to move out of for a while. She went back to check on her car every few days but didn’t drive it. One day she found a nasty note left on her windshield accusing her of parking too close to another car, a car that the person leaving the note had actually parked near her car. I nodded my head when I read it. San Francisco was like that.

chocolate cake with white icing

Of course there were circumstances that made our time there gloomy. The dot com party was over. September 11th happened while we were there. The Ferry Building was under construction and all I ever knew it as was of a boarded up, deserted seeming place on the water. (It was two blocks from the office I used to work in and when I think of all the glorious lunches I didn’t have there I cry a little inside.) We were subletting our apartment and needed to keep off the radar of the building managers, which made doing laundry a covert operation*. The retail area of the city I walked through each day on my way home was rapidly closing up and I watched it decline bit by bit. Once we tried to take a visiting friend to lunch and couldn’t find a place that didn’t have a two hour wait, we drove around the city hungry and embarrassed. Nothing seemed good or easy, nothing ever clicked, I never experienced any moments where things simply went right.

chocolate cake with white icing

I feel like San Francisco didn’t want me to stay, and I’m glad we didn’t try. I love Seattle.

All this said, San Francisco is an awful lot of fun to visit these days. The Ferry Building is filled with yum, that block of deserted building I used to walk past every day on my way home from work is now a very nice mall with a Bloomingdale’s and a Beard Papa’s. Miette has two charming shops that I wish I could visit daily. There is more and more good coffee, fabric and yarn. It’s like the city was sleeping while we were there but has since woken up and found itself having a really good hair day.

* (I did run into one of the building managers once and couldn’t escape a little chat. I ended up having to tell her I was the apartment renter’s girlfriend, something he had requested I do. It was awkward because the building manager knew that he had recently gotten married. I’m nearly ready to recategorize this as one of those memories that is funny.)

· comments [49] · 06-11-2010 · categories:mumbling ·

links: travel

Fun Things in Portland? | Ask MetaFilter.

Travel & Outdoors | Seattle Times Newspaper. Seattle summer guide, I’m mostly bookmarking the hikes here.

Road Food for vegans? | Ask MetaFilter.

Renting an apartment for a week in London in September. Priority: great food shopping. | Ask MetaFilter.

Gin is just the tonic – Times Online. You can take a distillery tour, and create your own gin. I’m definitely doing this should I find myself anywhere nearby. Thanks to Busywork for sending me this article!

· comments [2] · 06-10-2010 · categories:links · travel ·