22 April 2007

bokashi bokashi des ne

in an attempt to reduce the amount of waste we are generating, we have invested in a lovely compost-like system that breaks down all of your food waste (including meat etc.) and is designed for folks with no garden at all. we have a garden, but we are lazy. so our plan is to try this thing out--you put food in, sprinkle on this magic powdery stuff which has an exotic Japanese name (bokashi bran) and contains EM-powered nutrient stuff (technical biological term here), which instead of speeding decomposition of the food in fact ferments the waste. which means not as smelly. we just put our veggie discards, cooked foods, raw foods, and the lot in, toss in a handful of "Bokashi Bran!" (which must always be accompanied by one saying in heroic tones: Bokashi Bran!) and then repeat until the bin is full. let it sit for a couple of weeks, and then we have 3 options: dig it into our soil (yeah right--as if we have the energy to do that. hello, that takes effort!), pitch it into the garden waste at the tip (not sure they'll let us do that), or toss it into a biodegradable bag and put it out with the rubbish (less environmentally correct, but it will break down quicker than just tossing those egg shells out normally, right?)

Pretty cool. We'll report on our progress.

21 April 2007

April is here!

April in Showroom
Originally uploaded by doppio macchiato.
After much stress, research, worry, and oikos-time, we have finally purchased a vehicle in which to explore surrounding area and about which to spend some of our day-to-day worry allotment. And we are very excited.

April--because she is the colour of spring (silk green, aka Martha Stewart green), quiet and yet strong, and oh yeah, we bought her in April the month. A Mini One, 2002 vintage. For the first time ever, having purchased several new cars in our time and several cars much more expensive than this one, the dealer took the time and care to (1) have the car ready for us when we arrived (2) have it fully detailed and (3) put it on the showroom floor, replacing the brand new (as in last week) Mini Cooper D normally occupying this spot. Very well done and much appreciated. Contrast with the new Golf R32 we purchased which they barely washed and then had a door-ding in it when they pulled it around. Nice.

Pics of April in showroom and at home on flickr...now it's on to the inevitable upgrades, right?

10 April 2007

the un-blog

still tastes great, but less filling!

Paris for a week: fab, spoke French, saw tower, walked a lot, ate food, shopped markets, took no work.
work oddly waited for us while we were away (damn you work!) and thus: grant applications, revising articles, books, reading undergraduate dissertations and the like. work not so bad, all in all.
weather: lovely lovely lovely. could not be more perfect. highs 16-18, sunny, nice sea breeze. reason enough to stay here for sure.
capital improvements/expenditures: the car. nightmare. problems include: how to find a car when one does not own one? how to insure a car when you have never driven before in your life and didn't exist before 2 years ago? Oh wait, except I think we did exist before two years ago, and I think there was that almost 20 years of driving experience and numerous years of claim-free driving and spotless record and blah and blah--doesn't count! For it was in the great US of A. Were it in Europe or Australia, no problem. But the US? you kiddin me? do they even drive normal (manual) cars out there? Insurance estimates on car: £1200-2500/year. Cost of purchasing car: £2500. Hm. no need to do any math to see the insanity.

obvious solution: increase shoe budget. clearly.

02 April 2007

Hometown Baghdad

Worth spending a few minutes watching some of the episodes--obviously the three main subjects are of a certain class and are all men--I'd love to hear more women's voices, and some insight into the lives of poorer segments of the population--nonetheless the series of short films gives you a small sense of life in Baghdad.