Pass the Awesome!
An experiment about life and the way it moves me
Pass the Awesome!
An experiment about life and the way it moves me
I do things by myself. Always have, so I am kinda used to it. I go where I go independent of others. It makes scheduling pretty frickin' easy. But being alone in the city can be rather lonely. There are strangers all around, but there are all preoccupied with their daily lives (much like myself). How does one go about finding people worthy of socializing with? Walk a pie over to the neighbors? Yah, that ain't happening....
Those who know me know that I don't often reach out to people. I just keep to myself. I can tell you right now this particular practice doesn't work all that well. It is odd then to write my thoughts on the internet for the world to see? Maybe not as much as you would think....
I am not an expert in making friends, and I have a hard time truly connecting to most people. I have gotten social invitations from some of my coworkers periodically for the past few months, but they are always invitations to hang out in a bar. It is nice to know they actually want to see me outside of work, but I am not one for the bar scene. I don't like loud music or loud noises, and I would rather be able to hear the person next to me if I am going to have a conversation with them. Secondly, I often find it hard to find familiar ground with people, not only in general, but in bars especially (where everyone is driven by base instincts). No offence to them really. What they choose to do is not inherently wrong (unlike littering), and I am not about to say my way is better. The bar scene just isn't my thing.
In an effort to get out there and socialize I searched the interwebs for things to do with peoples in my city. After a few different searches a website called Meetup appeared. A rather great idea, it allows people to plan events and get together in a way that pretty much ensuring that they will have at least one interest in common. It is also a way to meet complete strangers that might make halfway decent friends down the line.
I am fully capable and comfortable with simply showing up to scheduled events . Thus far Meetup has far surpassed my expectations. I will continue to use it in the future.
Did he just throw his drink at the wall? Oh my god! He he just smeared food all over his own face!
Ignore him... just keep walking and he will ignore you too.
No, not that type of food. I'm talking about when the food you eat that bites you back. Dietary no-no's. It seems I have a number of them. Never used to have any problems. Then adolescence hit. Along with that came rather extreme (for a guy) cramps. I never found out why this happened.... Then came college, and the high fat diet that goes with college food. My diggestive system flipped on it's head. It's never recovered... This is why I am almost always growing some kind of probiotic. Gotta keep trying to fix the problem
A list of dietary offenders based off of experience
Chocolate (anything but small quantities)
Uncooked vegetables (anything but small quantities)
Fibrous foods (anything but tiny (?) quantities)
Overly rich foods= too fatty
Moderate to heavily spiced foods
Avocadoes ( anything but small quantities)= fat, and fiber
Nuts (anything but small quantities)= fat, and fiber
beans (anything but small quantities)- raw bean sprouts would likely kill me....
Oats (anything but small quantities)= fiber content
Whole grains (anything but small quantities)- my long-duration sourdough experiment will test if fermenting grains for a long time will allow me to eat them
Overly acidic foods
meats- it seems my system isn't strong enough to handle them properly
White rice- I have eaten close to 60 pounds of it since the start of the year
Dairy- effects undetermined at this time
I am a non-picky vegetarian. I don't like the idea of eating a full cow a year, or eating 30 horribly treated and depressed chickens a year either. I would feel much better about eating animals that led a full natural life- like deer, natural caught fish, and free range chickens. If someone cooks meat in a meal and offers it too me, I will eat it. They went through all that effort to cook it for me, it is hard not to honor that.
So My diet has become a balancing act- constantly trying not to piss off my digestive tract while desperately trying to keep myself from becoming malnourished. In summary, it seems my entire digestive tract simple doesn't try very hard. I don't think I have any food allergies either. Most people have problems with constipation. There are a crap ton of ways to combat that... but what about the opposite?
So my experiments with probiotics may have started out of boredom and curiosity, but they are now an attempt to heal myself. It has been a long time comin'.
Water kefir is a culture that goes by many names. Tibicos, japanese water crystals, and tibetan mushroom grains are all legit names as well. Whatever you call it, it is a probiotic for us. The culture itself is a symbiotic mass of yeast and bacteria is a polysacharide matrix. In other words, they are little gelatinous blobs of strange.
Very much like kombucha, the organisms grow in a sugary liquid. Unlike kombucha, this liquid isn't classically grown on sweet tea, and it does not end up tasting like vinegar. So long as you give it something more nutritious than refined white sugar, it should do fine.
It is a lactofermenting culture- this is key. That is in the same realm of pickles, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other fermented products. This means that when making a lactofermented product like, say, kimchi, the liquid from water kefir can be added at the start to inoculate the mixture. In other words it will kick-start the process and act as a type of insurance against nasty bugses (as Gollum from lord of the rings would likely say it).
I will be trying to make a variety of things with these low-upkeep globules. I'll keep you updated
Sourdough bread- a bread leavened and acted upon by a combo of yeast and lactobacilli. Lactic acid from the lactobacilli give you the sour of sourdough.
It may be sour but it is really good for you. Phytic acid, present in many foods is an antinutient. It binds to minerals in the digestive process and keeps them from being taken up into our bodies. After the grain is fermented, these nutrients are made available to us. The longer the ferment, the better.
Sourdough is also pretty close to gluten free, especially if allowed to ferment for a rather long time. Of course gluten free flours can also be used....
So I am going to make a few types to experiment
A. Water-kefir sourdough (apparently kombucha works too- both contain yeasties)
B. wild fermented starter (we'll see if it turns out)
For those who want to make their own starter
Equal amounts of flour and water + time= cool stuff
Use about 1 1/2 cup of each, maybe a little less water
Every day stir it up, take some off, and add an equivalent amount of flour and water
keep the culture covered (not airtight), and at room temperature. The culture may or may not seem edible in about a week...
The water kefir soudough worked out pretty well. Not that my baking skills made it look all that pretty. While I was scraping the crust off of the glass bowl I baked it in I managed to rip part of my thumb nail off of the nail bed. It hasn't healed back. I was hungry!....
The wild fermentation starter began to smell normal after about a week. I haven't tried baking with it yet. Bread just doesn't make me jump out of my seat.
Just click the little green button on the right for local radio station 88.1. They play pretty much everything you have never heard before. Ain't that cool?
Go ahead and broaden your musical horizons
This song below played just before writing this post
or something else (likely more well known)
As of this evening, the goose nest in back of my apartment has been removed entirely. This was likely done by the apartment complex. NEVER take a child away from its parents! Animals can't speak our language. Poor geesers. It is a sad day....
Over the past few months, the sheets on my bed have been dying. In fact the bottom foot of my bed sheet is almost entire ripped off. So maybe dead is a little more accurate a term. This has recently convinced me I could probably get a new sheet set. Too many choices!!!! I looked at the barely visible tag on my old rags and too my surprise they are 100% polyester. I thought I was sleeping on cotton. Now, while I could get a bad-ass undyed hemp and organic cotton sheet set for around 2-300 dollars, I could also get another pure polyester gem for about 10 dollars. Summer is around the corner, so while likely choose a crap-to-mid range cotton sheet set and see if it helps me sleep better than what I got. As I was looking at (and researching) all the options I re-ran into a wonderful idea.
Meet the sleep sack- a giant glorified pillow case. It is either that or making direct contact with that super scketchy hotel bed you are about to sleep. Got an extra bedsheet layin' around? Make your own and be EPIC!!!
I actually went to Lowell MI two weeks ago to visit the headquarters of the North Country Trail. I hiked most of that portion of the trail and liked it- I decided to head back once again.
I had an altogether different experience. It was a sunny day this time, as compared to the rainy day of two weeks ago. This brought a lot of people. Secondly, there was a bike race going on right where I decided to park. There was also a disk-golf tournament going on nearby. The trails, unlike last time, held visitors other than me. Apparently, hikers don't like getting rained on all day- go figure.... I saw some cool stuff, met a few people, did some cool things. Twas a good experience.
Some of the peoples I said hello to along the way
An old (but wise) park department guy told me something new! He told me that shelf/bracket fungi (like the artist's conk) grow for multiple years on end ( I thought the only grew for a single year). The number of years the mushroom has grown can be seen as growth rings running horizontally though the mushroom. Each year another fruiting layer grows onto the bottom of the mushroom. The park ranger(?) aparently carves the conks he finds into various items. I didn't know you could do that either.
For those who want to actually look at the map of where that geocoin in the gallery has traveled the web page is bellow.
Fermentation is basically the act of micro-organisms eating something else. Yuck? Nope. Fermented food are everywhere believe it or not. Shall I prove it?
That is just the list that most people will eat without fuss. You also have others that may not be looked so highly upon by certain societies
Why do these exist in the first place? People likely found them that way and needed something to eat. They didn't die after eating it, and thus a tradition is born. There is another reason however. Many foods have anti-nutrients in them that bind up nutrients as they are digested. By fermenting these foods, not only are these nutrients made available to our bodies, but the microorganisms are good for our gut as well!
Why am I writing this? I have made many of them and will continue to do so. I figured I would teach you how. Sound good?
Some of you may have heard of this before, some of you have not. For those who haven't it, it is a game. A game that consists of gps tagged caches (or hidden containers) placed by other players pretty much everywhere around the globe. Players find these caches by using a gps device ie. trimble, phone... If you take something from the cache, you leave something else behind. But most contain a small logbook of sorts. Simple really. Fun for adventurous folk!
I decided to pick up where my father left off and went off searching for these today by using an app for the iphone. I Officially logged 3 of them, found maybe 7 or 8. Not a bad start. There are however a literal crap ton of them around. but, most of them are in plain view of houses and or pedestrians (muggles as they are called (think harry potter)). Not only does this take the fun out of the game, but I don't feel like being that creeper crouching in the bushes in someone else's backyard. Just sayin'.
On that note, the caches along hiking trails and or in the wilderness are pretty fun to go searching for, and searching for them makes for a great little adventure.
Travel bugs are little bar-coded items that are placed in cache, only to be found and then left off in another cache. These travel bugs have been known the travel all over the nation, and overseas. When a person finds a bug and takes it, he or she records on the geocaching website which cache they leave it it. People that find them can keep track of where each has been on a world map. It's pretty neat.
Of course having made this blog, my little code name is passtheawesome, or PTA for short. I may be leaving little cards with the blog's name in a few of them sooner or later.