Item the number one: Yesterday we made stir fry of tempeh, cabbage, onions, and red peppers—although it’s probably not technically a stir fry because we made it outdoors on the grill (using a “grill wok“). It was laughably easy, and delicious. Fire good.

Item the next one: After spending two weeks dead, my sound card has mysteriously resurrected itself! *cue spooky music* Maybe it was the thunderstorm, although that seems more like a convenient sitcom plot twist than an explanation. Whatever the cause, I’m grateful to have music at my desk again.

Item the other one: I will definitely be going to the free outdoor TMBG show in Baltimore this Saturday. We’ll just see about this new drummer fellow. I hope the weather holds.

So, ginger ale. Pale, unassuming, mild-mannered. The rice cake of soft drinks. Right?

WRONG! You’ve never had ginger ale if you haven’t had Blenheim. I was blown away from the first sip. Apparently it’s kind of a Carolinas thing, but you should do yourself a favor and hunt down a bottle. Heck, I’ll even buy you one if you’re on my friends list.

[deleted LJ poll]

Sometimes it really hits me how many modern conveniences I take for granted. Like seedless fruit, for example. I bought a box of clementines last week, but they turned out to be these monsters, a mutant strain of clementine robustus. They’re large and pulpy, and so full of seeds that, with the segments being so small, by the time you finish separating out the seeds it’s not very juicy anymore. So I haven’t enjoyed them much at all, because I’m spoiled. Likewise with grapes, seeds are just too much work. I have no idea how long ago humankind saw the advent of seedless fruit, but I’m glad it was before my time.

But I have to admit, seedless fruit is pretty absurd. We humans have developed these infertile plants, and they basically rely on us for their continued existence. It seems to me that because seeds factor so directly into reproduction, favoring seedless fruit would significantly reduce the diversity among the plants that we grow for fruit. Reduced diversity, as any financial planner will tell you, leaves you more susceptible to catastrophic events. I find it odd how many people recognize and accept this tenet when applied to economics, but then fail to apply it to biology.

I’m under-informed about the specific biology of seedless fruit, it may not really have much effect on biodiversity. But even if it does, I’d probably still wallow in seedless hypocrisy anyway. After all, what’s science for if not finding new ways to save me hassle?

My weekend will consist of three things:

  1. Making chocolates. I came up with a Nutella variant of the classic chocolate-dipped peanut butter ball, and it’s been a big hit in years past. (I’ve also got some chestnut spread to try this year, I think it has potential. The lack of partially hydrogenated ingredients is also a plus.)
  2. Some moonlighting. A tiny startup is taking over one of the products I used to write about, and I’m updating the documents for it. It’s the first time I’ve worked by contract. I’m not being paid as much as I’d like for it, which especially sucks because it’ll take me less than a third of the time it would take anyone else. But it’s a foot in the door, and it’s likely to lead to more such side projects.
  3. Christmas shopping and a little bit of wrapping. I really need some inspiration for a couple of these. And as usual, I’ve saved the hardest gifts for last. I need to stop doing it that way.