Another Red-Meat-Free Week

We managed to make it another week without eating red meat. I don’t remember the exact menu, but we had a 17 bean soup (THAT diaper was fun, thankfully it was Lisa who changed it), some tropical meals with mango and pineapple, and other good eats. But it came to an end on Saturday.
After Ellie’s ballet “recital,” which she did very well (you could see her mouthing the words to the songs while dancing, funny), we went down to Alexandria for the St. Patrick’s Day parade. They always have it early so that it doesn’t conflict with the New York one, but it did seem extra early this time. After the parade was over, it was already pretty late, so we walked up to try to get some chili, only to find it was a 30 minute wait. Luckily, there was a Five Guys burger place just down the street, and man, was I ever craving a burger. Totally worth the wait.
However, while indulging in the burger, we decided that (at least until summer grilling season begins) we will only have red meat on those occasions when we are eating out. When making dinner at home, we’re going to stay red-meat-free. How about that, Shane? I know, not quite the same as going cold turkey, but hey, it’s something.

Obligations

OK, so Shane did this to me over on his blog, and I’m returning the favor. First things first, to answer his question: I work for CACI, a government contractor. If I told you anything else, I’d have to kill you. That should be enough hint (not quite State Department).
So, to the readers, comment on this post, and I will:
1. Tell you why I am friends with you.
2. Associate you with something – fandom, a song, a color, a photo, a word etc.
3. Tell you something I like about you.
4. Tell you a memory I have of you.
5. Ask something I’ve always wanted to know about you.
6. In return, you must post this to your own journal/blog.

There you go, have at it.

Daylight Savings is a Crock!

It should come as little surprise to anyone who has thought about it, but now there is scientific proof: daylight savings time wastes, not reduces, energy.
In Indiana, daylight savings was previously observed by 15 of the 92 counties, creating a lot of confusion when your neighbor’s clock was an hour off from yours. The legislature thus passed a law mandating daylight savings throughout the state, and researchers took the opportunity to study the law’s effect on energy usage. The result? Residential electricity usage increased between 1% and 4%, amounting to $8.6 million a year.

Instant Expert

I always find it amusing when, in the days after an event like the Westminster Dog Show, everyone becomes an instant expert on the subject. “That Uno was a good-lookin’ beagle.” “I thought the Weimaraner should have won.” Meanwhile, we really have no idea what the judges are looking for, or what really makes a good dog. What we do know is that it’s fun to root for the dogs you know and see every day, like the beagle and the bulldog, but otherwise, we’re pretty ignorant.
Last weekend, during a break from curling, we flipped through channels to find that professional bull riding was on NBC. The instant expert phenomenon occurred there as well. We were analyzing the bulls and the riders as though we knew what made a good bull or a good ride. “Look at how he stayed in the center of that bull.” “That bull didn’t give him much of a challenge.”
I imagine that some people involved in those events would get irritated by our couch potato observations, much as I do when people mock curling. What are you an “instant expert” on? Or, what are you actively involved in that people think they know a lot about, but really don’t?

Brain Dump

Just a couple of things I need to dump out here before I forget them. First, from the creator of one of my favorite parenting blogs, Z Recommends, comes Prizey, a simple contest aggregator. Subscribe to the feed, or check out the site, and you’ll get a bunch of contests to enter. Many are parenting related, but some are not (DVD giveaways, etc). You know me, I’m all about the free stuff.
Over the weekend, we had two big fun things going on. On Friday night, in the middle of a rainstorm, we were at the National Zoo for “Boo at the Zoo.” Trick-or-treating around the zoo was lots of fun, in spite of the rain. The most fun was seeing the different way the animals ate their pumpkin treats. The gorilla would pick it up with both hands and bite a chunk off the side, then scrape the flesh off while leaving the outer skin. The lion managed to get a hole in the top, and was sticking its head inside to pull out the juicy guts.
On Sunday, we got up early and drove up to Philadelphia for the day. Lisa’s choir was singing at St. Malachy’s Church. We got there a little early and were able to go see the Liberty Bell, but not much else. The concert was okay from the choir’s perspective, but the highlight was quite clearly the male soprano, Ryan Lowe (currently starring as Mary Sunshine in the musical Chicago on Broadway). The dude started singing, and everyone was looking around at the choir trying to figure out where the woman’s voice was coming from. It was coming from the dude! Crazy. Lisa said that world-famous soprano Renee Fleming once told him after a performance that he was better than her. I don’t know about that, but he was good enough that the audience will remember him, and not the off-day for the chorale.
The kids were really great in the car, but we were definitely wishing that we had a minivan by the end of it. The Civic is great for mileage and all, but there’s just not a lot of room, and no way to entertain them outside of playing music, which gets old after a while.
Finally, it looks like my favorite MovableType plugin, Media Manager, has been upgraded for MovableType 4, so I’m going to finally get around to looking at MT4 a little closer now. They’ve done a lot of work to improve it, and so far I like what I see. The only catch may be getting my stupid customized templates working properly. In other words, expect possible wackiness ahead.
Brain dump done.