Archive for March, 2008

A few days at the Truck Show

I spent last Wednesday-Saturday in Louisville at the big ole truck show. Here’s a link to my photo album, but all you need to see is three photos to get the idea.

Trucks:

Truck

Tattoos (which we gave for free, if they got a picture of the truck above):

Tattoo

Mullets:

Mullet

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Of Horsepower and an Island

As I inhaled my Ann Sather cinnamon roll at brunch this morning, I asked Mr. Farmer to explain engine EGR technology, which basically led to a discussion about how engines work. (Given that I’ve been marketing heavy equipment for almost five years, you’d think I’d know how to build one by now.)

So he gave me the gory details. And he explained the difference between horsepower and torque — using many colorful examples to explain that horsepower was about power (i.e. rate at which energy is transferred from the engine to the transmision) and torque was more about towing capacity (though technically about rotational force).

I offered up an example to see if I understood correctly:

I said that if he (as a 130-pounder) was spinning at the same rate as an obese guy, that’s horsepower. But if one of them is spinning and sits down on me, it’s clear the fat guy has more torque. Or perhaps I’d be the torqued off one.

He just shook his head and took another sip of coffee.

After that we used these concepts to haul my island from the back of his truck across the street and up three flights of stairs. It required far less horsepower than we thought — fortunately.

So I’ve been meaning to get an island for 2 years now. (Can’t believe I moved into this place two years ago this week.) I saw this particular one at World Market a couple summers ago but didn’t pull the trigger because it was $350 and not quite as functional as the one I had seen at Target.

Needless to say, by the time I had non-buyers’ remorse, the islands were gone.

Then a couple weeks ago I saw one! In World Market! For 50% off! Unfortunately that location only had the base and not the countertop. So I waited until the following weekend. Hark! 75% off. Less than 100 bucks. Stellar.

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Easter Update

The pie tasted excellent, though the patchwork crust fell apart a little.

I listened to a recording of Messiah (and fried my ancient iPod in the process).

I ate too many jelly bellies. I am inflatulated with them.

Amen.

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Easter-ly Thoughts

I was sitting here tonight thinking that it’s been a while since I’ve NOT been in Kansas on Easter. Probably since college. But this year, with the recent ski trip and next week’s trip to Louisville for the big ole truck show, I figured I’d just wait until April.

And I’m trying to decide wether I’m bummed about missing performances of Messiah and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. (Jury is still out. Sorry, Mom.)

So this Easter I’m going to Mr. Farmer’s house, where his mother is coming over to cook a splendid lunch. Fortunately I had a moment last week alone with her to get the clue that she has a very specific idea of what should be served on Easter, which made it easy to decide what to bring. She’s making ham. And I’m bringing lemon meringue pie.

Making it is another matter, of course. Good thing I had some practice over Thanksgiving.

So I called up Mom this morning to get her famous recipe.

Lemon Meringue Pie

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. cold water

4 eggs, separated
1/2 c. lemon juice

1 T. butter
1 tsp. grated lemon rind

1/4 tsp. salt
(4 egg whites)
1/2 c. sugar
1 baked 9-inch pie shell

Separate eggs. Combine sugar, water and salt in saucepan; heat to boiling. Mix cornstarch and cold water to make a smooth paste. Gradually add to boiling mixture, stirring constantly. Cook until clear. Remove from heat.

Beat together egg yolks and lemon juice; stir into mixture. Return to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture bubbles again. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and lemon rind. Cover; cool to lukewarm.

Combine egg whites and 1/4 tsp. salt in bowl; beat until frothy. Gradually add 1/2 c. sugar, beating until glossy peaks form. Stir 1-2 rounded tablespoonfuls of meringue into lukewarm filling. Pour into pie shell. Top with remaining meringue, spreading evenly sealing the edges.

Bake in 325 degree oven 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool away from drafts and refrigerate after it reaches room temperature.
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As an aside, the following ad was in Time Out Chicago magazine a couple weeks ago, and it completely cracked me up. First of all, it was weird to see this particular ad in the weekly “what to do in Chicago” magazine. And second, it reminded me of the weekend that I babysat Andrea’s two pet rabbits. They liked to bite.

rabbit

Did you know that when rabbits get hot for long periods of time, their ears grow? Their ears are their heat release system. (Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro?)

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Mountain Adventure

My, my — the juicy tidbit from last week caused a stir! Your nosiness is greatly appreciated. At long last, I’m sitting my freezing self in bed to warm up my feet and post photos from our trip.

Overall it was a fantastic time. Good weather, good snow, no lines. And a fireplace.

We took off Friday night on a flight that was two hours delayed, which put us at my cousin Bobbi’s house well after midnight. Poor Bobbi — she was nursing Theraflu when we arrived. The next morning we made the rounds to the relatives, then headed for the mountains around noon in our Durango, after stops at King Soopers and McDonald’s.

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That afternoon we skied Keystone (from 3-6), then went to dinner, where I proceed to butter a roll and stick in what I thought was my mouth — but it turned out I stuck it on my lip instead, which caused it to tumble back onto my plate. Mr. Farmer found this enormously funny.

The next day was 35 and sunny, and we hit Keystone again around 11:30.

I was whisked back to my 4-H ski trip days with the following pose:

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We spent the first half of our day on North Peak and the Outback. And we goofed around taking photos of ourselves on the lift:

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Where’s Nelly? (Check the glasses.)

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Bobbi’s husband gave us lift tickets to Copper Mountain, so we decided to ski there on Monday. Excellent choice! It was our favorite spot. It’s like choosing your own adventure down the mountain, with lots of different little jigs.

Unfortunately we choose wrong on a couple of occasions, which left me flat on my ass. Twice. Those black mogul runs are for spring chicken 4-H’ers.

Late in the day, as we rode the Timberline Express lift to take a run down American Flyer, our fellow lift-mate told us she was 80 years old. And she had bought a condo at Copper when the resort first opened in the ’70s. She paid $38,000 for a 2-bedroom, 2-bath place. Life is good.

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Randomness Follows Me: Part 10,723

I’m surprised you all keep coming back to this page, given that I post every 283rd day! And to thank you for your continued support, here’s a gift of a juicy tidbit: I’m going skiing in Colorado this weekend with a young man whose life mission is to be a farmer. And no, I’m not talking about my brother, although they do share the same pet name: Dare-bear.

If you just peed your pants with excitement over this news, please compose yourself, take a swig of Hills Brothers and pretty please move on to the topic of the year: randomness follows me.

Last week I took a cab home after my volleyball game. The cabbie was a nice Asian man in a brand-spankin-new cab. And for the 2 mile ride, he told me about how he used to be an insurance agent, lost his job, has a son who isn’t very athletic, has a daughter who has been put on a diet because she’s diabetic, and so on and so forth.

This week I took a cab home after my volleyball game, and guess which cabbie might appear? You got it. Same dude. So I got the whole update on his son’s soccer games, his daughter’s medical issues and the other cabbies in his garage, namely a Romanian girl who has taken me home from volleyball twice, by the way.

He also told me there’s a 1 in 7,000 chance a cab driver will pick up the same person twice.

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