December 14th, 2008

Bike 04

New Path

I spent a good chunk of yesterday at work, patching servers and working on my Christmas card. The card is done and printed, so that's out of the way. Very painless this time around since I'd chosen the image almost a year ago, and it required no manipulation other than a little cropping. Easy peasy. Now to figure out who to send 'em to, and then whether I have current addresses.

Afterward I layered up and went for a ride around the base, including the new Quonset bike path. The path is actually the old navy service road (aka Sanford Drive/Marine Road) that runs up to the northeast corner of the base, past the old navy landfill/superfund site next to Allen Harbor. It's actually quite pretty now that the site has been remediated, with terrific views of the bay. It's quite short, about a mile long, but it looks like they may be extending it along the old perimeter road as well.

It was quite cold, below freezing even, despite being very sunny. (Fortunately, we got none of the ice that hit the rest of New England, just bucketloads of rain.) My cold weather gear kept me warm enough, so that was good. The exposed parts of my face were excruciatingly cold for the first half mile or so of the ride, but once the blood got flowing it was fine. Near the end of the ride I managed to rip out the crotch of my windproof pants. They got caught somehow on a little metal outcrop just below the heel of the saddle as I was getting back on the bike after a stop. Then they caught again when I got off the bike at the end, completing the destruction. I have a second pair, so I can still ride, but it is annoying.

This morning I made biscuits from scratch (well, Jiffy Mix, actually), and they turned out really well. That's a first.

No, Not That Kind of Truffle, Pigby...

It's truffle time at Casa Machina. I picked up most of my supplies Friday night. It's apparently my lucky week for making them, as Walmart had Hershey chips for $1.50 a bag, AC Moore has candy melts for a $1.69 a bag, and Dave's has Philly cream cheese buy one (@ $2.49) get one free! For the bean counters amongst you, that's basically $3 per 1 lb batch, plus flavorings. I get off cheap there, too, because I still have plenty of extracts leftover from last year. I only had to spring for a bag of shredded coconut ($1.50) and a bottle of mapleine ($2.49), this year's experimental flavor.

I'm going to make a couple of batches of cookies, as well, Marnie's chocolate chips and ATK's triple chocolates.

AC Moore also has some 50% off coupons up on their site, one of which I may use to buy an air brush.

For the past thirty years or so, my dad has been my easiest gift. He loves cheese and beef stick and candy, so every year I've given him a food basket based on those items, heavy on the cheeses. This was good, because otherwise he would probably be the hardest person to buy for. However, at Thanksgiving he mentioned to me that now that he's had that double bypass, perhaps it would be better if I stuck to low fat cheeses. I have since discovered that this turns out to be harder than it sounds. I always include some Jarlsberg, and that's available in a lower fat version, but after that there don't seem to be a lot of choices unless I decide to wander over to the Cracker Barrel aisle. Dave's had some no fat cheese from Vermont, but I'm leery.

Of course, a risk assessment might say that if it took him 83 years of eating regular cheese to develop the original blockage, chances are good that a nice wedge of cheddar is unlikely to keep him from reaching 166. Right?

It was lightly warmer today, 40 instead of 32, but windier, so it felt about the same as I rode. Broke 1700 miles for the year. Not too shabby. Afterward I made beef stew in the pressure cooker. Today I also cleaned the bathroom and most of the kitchen, and did laundry. Next I'm going to make some truffle centers. I feel very accomplished.