Archive for July, 2007

Baseball is Actually Fun

IchiroI am not a big sports fan, and as I’ve mentioned, this sure isn’t a sports blog. I’m married to a sports guy, though, the kind who screams at the tv during the NFL season and watches the Masters every year.

Moving to the Puget Sound area a couple years ago has been a huge boon to him – he now has Seahawks season tickets, plus ad hoc opportunities to see the Mariners, Sonics (for now), Storm, Thunderbirds, and WSU/UW college football games (he’s a WSU alumnus).

Friday he had two excellent tickets to see the Mariners – tenth row, behind third base. Of all the pro sports that are out there, baseball is one that hasn’t appealed to me much. It’s long, and slow, and nothing much happens.

Surprisingly, I had a lot of fun! The Mariners pulled out a surprise win, Safeco field is amazing, and it was a balmy 70-degree summer night under the stars. I enjoyed people watching both on and off the field!

Lately I’ve glimpsed a couple episodes of a new Food Network show called “Kitchen: Impossible”, where an experienced chef is given impossible cooking challenges. The most recent one was to cook a gourmet meal for a 7th inning banquet out of only food found at the baseball park. While nearly impossible on the TV show, this would not be an issue at Safeco field!

The stand vendors were certainly selling the usual beer, peanuts and cotton candy – but also fresh lemonade and “shish-ka-berries”, chocolate dipped strawberries on a skewer.

There are over 50 different, local food vendors at the stadium – including bento boxes, Ivar’s fish and chips, salmon sandwiches, southern BBQ, tantalizing garlic fries and sushi – the last including the inventive “Ichi-roll”, with spicy tuna and daikon sprouts.

Watching the ball game was pretty fun too, especially with my sports-nut spouse.

Ichiro was amazing – not only for the bow-and-arrow hitting consistency, but also for his fielding. There is nothing that man can’t catch!

Bryan pointed out the three Joses (Vidro, Guillen, Lopez) in the starting lineup. “Hey, Jose, catch!” We got to watch Felix Hernandez – El Cartuela – in top form showing off his rifle-like pitching arm.

My only grumble, after the game, is why can’t the people in the inside seats STAY in their seats? We didn’t need to get up during the game – but had aisle seats. Those restless fans who couldn’t keep their behinds in their seat completely disregarded the courtesy of staying down during active play.

I would definitely go again! And – we are, on the 18th to watch the Mariners play the White Sox – taking Bryan’s folks and our oldest son.

Posted on Monday, July 30th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: sports | 4 Comments »

In the Garden

Pansy BarrelWith the combination of vacations and my fairly nasty summer allergies, I have gotten really behind on yardwork. My husband mows, edges, prunes roses and grabs the occasional weed from time to time, but he’s busy too.

Looking out my home office window, or off my back deck, I can see so much that I need to get caught up on!

  • Prune and tie up the roses
  • Weed the lawn and all my garden patches – a HUGE task
  • Prune & tie up the tomatoes
  • Clean up our raised beds – some plants need pulling and replacing
  • Clean up our deck
  • Find the minor leak in our pond and patch it
  • Repot some container plants

That doesn’t even include the new stuff I’d like to do, like planting a couple of trees, building a screened shelter for our generator, and constructing a compost bin or two.

I love my huge back deck, yard and garden. If only I could spend fifteen minutes outside without going into sneezing fits!

Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: garden | Comments Off

Passenger Rights

PlaneIf you’re in Seattle, you’ve probably seen this story on the news. Yesterday, a 31 year old doctor from Tennessee called in a bomb threat against a plane that had just taken off.

Turns out, he was calling from the airport, and had just missed that flight. He thought that the bomb threat would be enough to make the plane return to the gate, and he’d be able to board when authorities let people back on board.

I am a frequent flier – about 40K miles a year. I have never missed a flight – except when the connecting flight was delayed – and I’m pretty darn sure it’s my responsibility to get to the gate on time or suffer the consequences.

This guy is unbelievable! He’s taken the narcissistic perspective of “It’s all about me” to new heights with this one.

I think that his punishment – besides restitution and community service – ought to be spending several hours in an overheated, crowded airport lounge with all the other delayed passengers. He’d need to wear a bright orange t-shirt that says, “I called in the bomb threat.” Maybe he’d even have to host an open bar for all the other passengers.

I predict that after that experience, he’d never again do something that idiotic. If he survived.

Posted on Thursday, July 26th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: travel | Comments Off

Ciao, Caffeine!

CoffeeI have been pretty much caffeine free for ten days now.

It hasn’t been easy – a few months ago I posted about my caffeine habit – a habit I needed to break.

Ten days ago I had a brutal migraine, it ruined a day out on the boat (as well as the evening and night afterward). I’ve been having a lot of headaches lately, sometimes every day. Taking Excedrin helps – but it’s got caffeine, 65 mg per tablet.

We migraine sufferers tend to spend a lot of time trying to determine headache triggers. I’ve already eliminated MSG, alcohol, and large quantities of sugar from my daily diet. Getting enough sleep is critical too – a really short night will set me up for a splitting headache every time.

My nurse practioner/naturopath suggested a couple years ago that caffeine was a headache culprit, creating a vicious cycle of withdrawal headaches and increasing tolerance. I decided it was time to get rid of caffeine (again!) to see if that would help matters.

So far I’ve felt pretty good, if a bit groggy at times. I definitely don’t have the daily headaches, I think those were a caffeine induced thing. It’s hard to tell on the major migraines, since they’re irregular and infrequent. I’m hoping it will help with those too.

The other suggestion my observant sister had was evaluating & eliminating processed meat like ham, bacon and lunchmeat – it has sodium nitrite, which is also a potential trigger. It’d probably be great for my waistline to say “Bye bye, bacon!” but I’m not quite ready for that trial.

Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: health | 4 Comments »

Gourmet Haul

I have a confession: I am a foodie. Our family loves interesting, fresh, gourmet food and the processes and products that go into it.

My husband is as likely to park the TV on Food Network as he is ESPN to spend some downtime, and we enjoy celeb chefs like Alton Brown, Paula Deen, Rachel Ray and the folks at America’s Test Kitchen (and its evil twin, Iron Chef America).

One of the wonderful things about the Cannon Beach area is the food industry. We visited the Tillamook cheese factory and the smaller, more charming Blue Heron French Cheese company. There’s a Harry and David’s in the Seaside outlet mall, and lots of little food and gift shops up and down Highway 101 in between.

I came home with a huge haul, an entire backpack full, of food stuff, including:

  • Wheels of smoked pepper and herb garlic brie
  • Chili garlic cheddar, garlic white cheddar cheese, plus the always popular cheese curds
  • Different chutneys, including Harry and David’s popular red pepper and onion
  • Jam, jam, jam! Fig/ginger conserve, maple pear butter, peach butter, pumpkin butter, and key lime curd.
  • More fabulous Chukar Cherry stuff – a restock on our favorite cherries jubilee
  • Almond and lemon shortbread cookies, and almond and hazelnut truffles
  • Some cool Fantes collapsible measuring cups and flat-pack measuring spoons

Our family has enough cheese and interesting jam to last us a good, long time! And I’m excited to try cooking with some of the new products.

Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2007 by Jeri
Under: cooking | 2 Comments »