Search This Blog

Saturday, August 22, 2009

License to Carbonate

The name is Sporks, the license is Alco2jet 220579.  That is all I can say or I might have to kill you.


Or not.  But that is my license number.  I'm a licensed carbonator.  Yeppers.

A week or so ago, Teresa sent me a link to a product I didn't know existed.

The SodaStream Fountain Jet.



I've always had a thing for old seltzer bottles.  We have some Teresa bought at a yard sale in the garage.


Ours are not this pretty but you get the idea.  William Powell could make you a drink from them.  Especially if you were Myrna Loy.

I also have been trying to be more green.  I ride my scooter when I can.  I would like someone to buy me this:


Audi A3 TDI.  45 mpg.  Thank you very much.

I'd buy it for myself, but I've recently taken a "state budget" furlough pay cut.  (Don't ask).

The SodaStream hits exactly the right marks.  I can have (really, really slight) thoughts of Powell and Loy while making carbonated beverages.  It saves me from buying and discarding plastic bottle containing fizzy water every week (my average was 3 bottles per week).  It fits my newly "dehanced" salary.   (Thanks California economy!)

So, how does it work, you ask?  I'm so glad you did.  So, so glad.

First, you need to secure your license for the Alco2jets.  I have two licenses and two jets.  I am special.


That's the spare.


That's the one currently in use.  See just how special I am?

License 220579.  That special.

Ok, so here's how it works.  You fill your specially provided SodaStream bottles from your handy Britta picther.




Please note that two bottles full is more than the (*cough*stupid*cough*) Britta pitcher can hold.  No offense to Britta stockholders.



This will mean filling and waiting for the Britta to take its sweet time draining itself through the (probably only mildly useful) filter.  Now, I could just skip this step and use tap water.  But what if L.A. tap water isn't pure and clear as the driven snow?  What if, indeed.  So, once the Britta has finished its "job," here's what I've got:


Yep, still water, two plastic bottle.  Awesome.


Now I secure one bottle on the machine.


Then I push the magic button.


And watch the bubbles fill the bottle.


If you try this at home, you will probably be joined at this point by one or more dogs.  They do not like the sound.  Especially the loud burping sound it makes indicating a certain level of carbonation.


I manage to ignore the dogs and persist.

4 burps for plain or flavor enhanced water.


How about orange?


Just a drop.

Now, let's get fancy and have some Diet Pink Grapefruit--"compare to Fresca!"  I'll want five burps on this, dog concern be dammed.


Measure the syrup.


Pour in bottle and gently shake. I register slight alarm at the pinkness.


Pour into juice glass.  Serve to spouse.


Seems ok.

Secure made soda in fridge.


Put soda maker in it's place (on floor, away from flammables, near wine and drinks)


Pour self a (slightly larger) juice glass of pink drink and sit down to blog.


Generally I'm only slightly excited by kitchen gadgets.  This one, though, is beyond fab.  No electricity, less plastic. A source of creativity.

Burp burp burp burp burp.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Shoe Musings

On Friday I rode my scooter to work.


That's not me on Friday, but I know people like visuals.  It is me, and it is my scooter, it's just not Friday.

Anyway, I had on "nice" jeans, a white shirt, and boots.  It was Friday, I had no meetings, it's summer.  I looked fine (for me).

These were the boots I had on:


Ok, if any people who ride two wheeled vehicles would like to have an internal dialogue about how safe these are, go ahead.  I'll wait.  I've been having some foot soreness lately and these are the most comfortable boots I own.


Anyway, I was walking down the stairs mid-afternoon as two women were walking up them.  Both women had on high heeled sandals that were (and this really is the only word for it) bejeweled.


Something like that.  I was admittedly clumping a little--as I was trotting down the stairs.  They, on the other hand, were walking slowly and carefully, undoubtedly not to trip and fall as they ascended.  They were undergrads going to class.  Trust me when I say I know that's who they were.

Both of them glanced at my feet and then at each other and shared a moment (I saw it, no ambiguity) of disapproval.  I simply kept going but have been thinking about them and their shoes and me an my shoes ever since.

Yesterday, I asked Teresa, "when did women start wearing such stupid shoes?"

She replied, "oh, they always have."


That's Claudette Colbert "walking" her dog in 1938.  Those shoes wouldn't work for me.  Seem fine for Ms. Colbert, though.

Here's the thing, though, even if women have always worn shoes that make them less, um, functional than men, they didn't use to ALWAYS do so.  By which I mean, they may have had the less functional shoes, but they only wore them sometimes.

For example, when I was in college, women didn't wear those kinds of shoes to class.  They wore comfortable shoes.  Or flats. This trend of comfort predated my college years, of course.  Behold:


You don't even need to see these two women's shoes to know that they have no resemblance whatever to the bejeweled numbers above.  I would like to see the bejeweled numbers over thick socks.  I really would.

The judging of shoes--I might add--was prompted herein not by me, but the bejeweled folks ascending.  I wonder if their feet hurt.  I expect they did.  Maybe still do, here two days later.

I was thinking about that today as I surveyed my shoes.  I cannot say that they reflect any particular trend but my own sensibilities, size 11 feet (which constrains choice, of course), and some practicalities.  I've selected a few for a brief tour.

Shall we begin?  Do make sure your seat belt is tightened before we depart.

First, let's start with the "special interest" shoes.  Those that must serve a particular function (and may not serve another).  Representing this category are:

Shimano's fine M160 shoes.  Clip in to my fine SPD pedals and be off.



They're certainly my shiniest shoes.  Truth told, I keep platform pedals on all three bikes most of the time, but sometimes, I like to clip in.  The M160s are ready when I do.

Special interest shoes #2 are also related to two wheeling, though motorized this time.  Behold the Sidi Slash.



Pretty, fancy, no?  Those are motorcycle boots for when you want to ride your 250cc scooter HARD (and safely).

On the casual end of things, I have what we use to call "tennis shoes."


They're Go Lite Trail Fly shoes.  Meant for running on scree.  I wear them for tennis shoe occasions.  I have worn them on scree.  In Hawaii.  More often I wear them on pavement.  In Los Angeles.

When I first moved to California, I insisted that one of the best things about it was the ability to wear sandals year-round.  I have had sandal love affairs (Birkenstocks, Doc Martens, Keens), but my true sandal love has always been and will always be...


Teva.  Tee to the vah.  My only pair at the moment, but I've another one on order.  There's also a pair in the "going to Goodwill" bag that Halo chewed on.  I may rescue them and try again to compensate in some way for the cat chew marks.  (Update:  I did rescue them and they may not be the chewed upon pair, as I am currently wearing them and there is no pain.  No pics, you'll have the trust me).


Six pounds of calico hellion right there.

As some people may have heard, my old friends at Crocs are in trouble.  They may go under.  Belly-up.  Bankrupt.  I let all my Croc clogs go some time ago, as I was getting rashes from the rubber on the tops of my feet.  I did acquire some Crocs flip flops recently.  Every time, I wear them, I think "last running of the Crocs."  Or last flipping of the Crocs.  Or last flopping of the Crocs.


For work, I tend to practical, brown or black and loafer-esque.  Thus:


Those are Earth Compasses.  The next ones are on the "fancier" end for me.  The last time I wore them, I got a blister which got infected.


Some kind of Merrell slide.  I have them in black and brown.  Teresa and I refer to them as my "Associate Dean" shoes.  I got them as I was starting my new(ish) job and associate (ha!) them with it.  Right now, they're not in circulation...  Infected blisters, you know.

I have a deep appreciation for Nike's Considered line.  Launched in 2005, it lasted two years and produced several shoes that I adore.  They're now all wearing out.  Here are the Gems from that line:


And there is no finer shoe in my life than the last-gasp Considered offering:


I have tan ones, too.  Both pairs are on the worn side of new.  I'll miss them when they go.  I look through Nike's current offerings every once in a while.  Then I sigh.  I'm out of the demographic, you see.

I expect I'd have gotten less of a look from the bejeweled crowd had I had these on:


My Earth Scenic boots.  I've even been known to polish them.  More hippie than clunky.

Whatever that theoretical outcome on the stairs might have been, there still seems to have been a meeting of women that I missed.  A meeting where it was decided that comfortable shoes were banished.  I'm good about keeping my calendar up-to-date, so it may be that I wasn't invited to (or wanted at) the meeting.

Just as well I guess. Clunk clunk, flip flip.