Saturday, September 6, 2008

Having fun with new ingredients

These were from last weekend.
But it was a fun experiment, so I wanted to post it.
I see these rice sheets at the market and want to try using them.

Finally I did.

I am sure they are not truly Vietnamese the way I made them.
But they tasted good and were light and cool on a hot summer day.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Puppies... Now with video goodness

I was going to post this with the pictures, but it was taking ages to process.

I finally got it to work.

Here are Sacha and Yukon.

With background vocals by George, who was not happy to be left in the house.

Sacha was starting to get upset by the camera, so I stopped.

But you get an idea of this lovely singing voice.

Oh, and he learned to howl a few days ago. Let's hope he limits that to times I am already awake.

Puppy update

It's amazing that it has only been a few months since my neighbor got his puppies, Sacha and Yukon.

These little fluffballs are now so big that when they stand at the wall for me to pet them, I no longer have to stretch to reach them.

Soon I think their paws will be up on top of the wall and they will be resting their chins on the edge waiting for me.

They are still very sweet and funny. Of course, they are. They are still puppies.

Sacha has become the more vocal of the two. So far the barking is minimal. Mostly he does that half whine, half bark thing.

Yukon is funny because sometimes she just sits there and looks at me just like she did that first day he brought her home. I have heard her back a few times; usually it is when she is wound up playing with Sacha.

I have made sure to let them see my face at all times of the day. I want them to know me so I can be in my own yard and not have them going crazy on the other side of the wall.
So far, so good. I have been over, with permission, to play with them a few times. They are clumsy and dopey and funny. So sweet.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Logged SCUBA dive #13 - Quiet morning at Vet's Park

Me, just before descending, with
Redondo Beach in the background.

Date - Sept. 1, 2008
Location: Veteran's Park - Redondo Beach, Calif.
Dove with: my manfriend
In With: 2600 psi
Out With: 600 psi
Max depth: 74 feet
Waves: consistent and fast swells breaking knee-high close to shore,
Visibility: very sandy until past 30 feet
Water Temperature: I have no idea. About like last time. Maybe 55-60
Total Bottom Time: About 36 minutes
It was Labor Day. I expected to see more people in the parking lot of Veteran's Park.
MF and I were the only divers there, as far as we could tell.
At first we worried that it was a bad sign, But the water looked decent, so we went ahead with it.
After all, it was a holiday, but probably most people dive on Sundays anyway. We did not get out Sunday.
And then after we were geared up and heading to the stairs, there were a couple people coming back up. They said it was decent, not great, better as you get into deeper water.

At the shore we pondered the swells for a few minutes. They were coming in sets. Three strong, three not so strong. We timed it for the not so strong ones and went ahead in.
MF got his fins on and was waiting on me. I had one fin on and was getting the other one on when he grabbed my tank and started dragging me out. I guess I was not fast enough.
He said later that he saw some bigger swells coming in and he didn't want me to get caught in them.
OK. It gave me a chance to get that fin on and then we swam out more.
We descended to about 20 feet then headed West.
It was a very sandy day. At first we saw sand and sand dollars.
Then we started seeing flounder and starfish and the occasional little crab.
Flat flounder. Ths one was about as wide
as my two hands side by side.
Little crab, skittering away from us.

Tiny starfish that fit on the tip of my finger. Sorry for the blur,
it is the only photo of this. I just wanted to show how tiny it was.

Slightly bigger starfish.

Super-big star. I think the large legs had to be about 8 inches long.
It's those two nubs it is regrowing that are kind of creepy though.
Makes me wonder what the heck happened to it.

There were some mussels hiding in bigger shells, their own shells nestled into the opening of a larger shelter.

But mostly there was sand.

We found the bucket with the cinder block on top.

There was a little octopus hiding out in the cinder block.

I might not have seen it except for its creepy blinking eyeball.

I also was a little sea urchin. I know they are probably around, but it was the first time I saw one here. It was pretty small.

Finally it was time to get out. MF had me navigate back toward shore.

Hmmm... which way is East?

We surfaced and waited a few minutes to gauge the swells. They seemed faster and a little stronger than when we went in.

After trying to wait for a lull, it became apparent there would be no real lull. So we swam toward shore. I said that if I fell, which I hoped not to, that I was just going to remove the gear and push/pull it out until I got to a place I could stand.

As we got closer to shore again I had fin trouble. And in that couple minutes it took to get the second fin off, MF was able to power out of the water just fine.

Me? I fell. Ate sand as they say. There was no way I was going to get up. But I tried.

OK. Crawl out of water a bit more, remove gear, get a hand up from MF, then get the gear back on for walk back up the stairs.

Nice. How embarrassing. And now my gear was all full of sand.

We went to get some of the sand showered off of things. But the real gear cleaning would have to come later at home.

So yeah, not a very exciting dive as far as stuff to see.
And no, the exit was less than elegant. Way less.

Still, it is great exercise and great practice building toward a new location with more to see but a more difficult entry.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Quick and easy post, quick and easy meal

Just a quick note to point out a couple new posts over on the cooking blog.

First up, a post on a great kitchen gadget.
This is something I may do periodically.
First up is a ceramic blade slicer.

Next is a post with a recipe for grilled jerk-spiced mahi mahi with avocado-melon salsa.
It was very fast, very easy and very tasty.

Yes, more grilling. I can't help it. It's just too good.