February 21, 2005

Vegetarian Eating: 1 month trial

This all started at New Year's. Well... January 4th. I've made all sorts of silly resolutions in the past with limited results.

Last year's was learning more German. Guttentag! That's it.
Year before that, it was running more often. Well I run up stairs, how's that?

So this year, I decided I was going to make a resolution, but not one that would or should take a whole year to implement. Why should New Year resolutions take a year or half a year to implement? Why not make monthly resolutions instead and party at the end of each month like it's New Years? We as Americans don't party down enough as it is when we get past 25, but that will be another blog entry.

From January 4th to February 4th, with the exception of 1 shameful indiscretion, I did not consume any meat or meat product(broths, hot dogs, anything made from animal flesh).

I ate dairy(and oh, did I eat dairy) and other food products that were made from animals that wasn't meat(honey, butter, etc.). But for that month, I didn't eat meat.

I had several motivations for trying this out. For starters, I'm a human "garbage disposal" as my friends put it. I'll always be remembered for the day when we went to the Daniel Boone Inn and I had dished out the ice-cream bowl serving of mashed potatoes. In response to my friends' protest, I simply responded, "they'll send more." I love to eat, and I love to eat good food even more, but I know that I can't keep up with my eating habits like that forever.

Secondly, while I was out of work, I had developed a minimalist mantra to living. Examining everything I did and subscribed to and began cutting out what I didn't use. I cut off my cable and used the internet for my entertainment purposes. I dropped my landline and went celluar(brain tumor, here I come!). I stopped purchasing pre-made meals and made more simple meals. Pastas with lemon and butter. a roast with mashed potatoes and asparagus, etc. Home-made tomato sauces with as few incredients as possible to achieve the desired taste. I gave up carbonated drinks. I read more, walked more, got outside a lot more. Yadda Yadda Yadda. Trying vegitarianism was another step in that process.

Finally, my girlfriend has been vegitarian for over 14 years now, which of course makes me a vegitarian. But I sure do like the taste of a good burger.

So I decided to give up meat for a month. And to be honest, I missed it once in a while, but not nearly as much as I would have thought or as little as you would expect in a piece like this(i.e. "Oh, and after this diet, I never thought of animals as food again! And I believe in dragons!" Pfftht! WTFE...).

The key to any change in eating habit is finding a comparable replacement for what you're cutting down on. That being said, tofu and soy alone will never replace good quality meat. Well-made, seasoned, and prepped tofu and soy will make you grumble less about it. Really well made, seasoned, and prepped tofu and soy can possibly show you the merit that other people find in this lifestyle, though it might not work for you.

There are two main factors that made eating vegitarian for a month not only bearable, but rather enjoyable. First being Amy's brand of frozen dinners, canned soups, and other products. All organic(whatever that means nowadays), all vegitarian meals. The frozen dinners are honest-to-god the best frozen dinners I've ever had. And I've had them all, folks. My personal favorites are the Indian Palak Paneer, the Broccoli Pot Pie, and the tastiest Lasagna next to my mother's, their Vegitarian Lasagna. One you've adjusted your "full-and-content" feeling to not feeling like you've ingested a colonial cannonball, these meals will fill you up easily, something other frozen meals had a time doing. I'd recommend these to anyone who wants to try good food for minimal hassle. I'm back to eating meat now, but I still bring in Amy's for lunch every day.

The second factor was Boba House, the just-out-of-rookie-season vegetarian cuisine restaurant that made me a believer of tofu being more than rejected couch cushion. I think I may have worn everyone out gabbing about how great I think this place is, but it is honestly that good. And with a lunch special of $5.50(add more for soda) that includes a salad, spring roll, and your entree, it's also quite economical as well as damn tasty.

I'll run through the changes I noticed that month. I felt a bit more awake after eating meals. I did not lose weight. A significant drop in my body temp, which can be cured with iron supplements. Some GI changes that aren't appropriate and expected with such a diet, and a new outlook on the lifestyle.

In a nutshell: I treat it like an ethnic food. It's good to have, but after a while, you'd want to try something different.

Posted by Jeffrey at 5:46 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2005

Mitsubishi Amity: a new woe

I had an email from a reader asking about the boot process for SlackFTP and it had been so long since I ran it, I forgot! So I decided to run it again to make a more detailed write-down of the process. Several things occurred to me.

1. Even though I used a university-registered PCMCIA NIC, and the program could detect the card and mount the FTP drive, the packages downloaded were 85% corrupted.
HOWEVER, should I place the laptop on our workbench(which exists as a subnet of the university for containment purposes) and run it from there(during off hours), I could download and install Slackware 9.1 with no issue.

2. Whoever made this laptop had tiny, tiny, tiny hands. One of my co-workers gave me a 4GB notebook drive to replace the 2.1GB. I thought it would at most require me to pop off the top of the laptop and slide out the HD. Oh no..... Silly rabbit... I had to pull out the motherboard in order to unscrew the HD from the board and replace it with the 4GB Toshiba(the original is a Toshiba as well). It wasn't so bad up until I realized I had two extra pieces left over! Fortunately, they were just clips to hold up the back-end of the laptop, easily fixed. All this took the better part of the morning as I was on phone duty. I finally get it back together and turn it on to the BIOS.

YES!!! The BIOS detects it as a 4GB! Oh Happy Day! What? No OS? Well of course no OS, I haven't attached the floppy with the Slackware boot disk. What? No OS? Well the BIOS is set for A: then C: for boot priority. Let's check again... Mmm... yep, that's right. Then I boot it again and POST to the BIOS screen. The Drive's disappeared! I recheck the connections but I quickly came to the conclusion that I'm pretty much stuck with the drive I was given. Sad, but not so sad. I just don't look forward to unassembling this laptop again to replace the HD.

Once I get my tax refund, maybe I'll check on DealMac for a powerbook or IBook, who are made and QA'ed by ASUS. Hmmm....

Posted by Jeffrey at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 8, 2005

Grape + Apple = "Grapple"

Has anyone had you try one of these yet?. They're grapples(pronounced grape+ls), and I'm not quite sure why the people who dreamt this up thought that an grape-flavored apple would just blow kids minds.


Get Fit is marketing Grapples as a way to prevent childhood obesity because, apparently, once kids get a load of the awesomeness of Concord grape-flavored apples, they'll trade in their sugary snacks for healthy Grapples and lose all sorts of weight.


...Umm... yeah. The world needs dreamers, so keep dreamin'.

A nice lady in the Psych dept. offered me one while I was working on their machine. The outside smells like artificial grape flavoring similar to that used in gum, popsicles, whatever else. The inside, well, was hard to tell for the outside. It was certainly normal-colored, but the smell was not as strong as the skin, but not yet normal either...

It didn't smell like a grape, nor an apple. Its tastes were like a night at the taste-bud demolition derby. Flavors collide and sideswipe each other until the result resembles nothing of what the original components were. Very juicy and refreshing, however, so long as you keep the apple away from your face while chewing.

Overall, I'd advise people to skip it unless you have a flair for adventure. Even then, buy just one.

And share.

With your whole office.

And whoever comes by.

And when I say share, I mean that mandatory "I'm not leaving your doorway until you take a slice of this, so you better go ahead. " share.

Posted by Jeffrey at 2:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 4, 2005

SlackFTP process update

By request, here are more explicit steps I used for SlackFTP

1. insert Boot Disk and power on system.
2. when prompted, insert Install Disk 1
3. when prompted, insert SlackFTP install 2
4.login as root
5.type pcmcia
6.insert pcmcia disk
7.press enter to load disk
8.press enter to unload disk
9.type network
10. insert network disk
11. press enter to autoprobe for all types of network cards.
12. if card is found continue to 13, otherwise, insert a new card and repeat 11.
13. press f to load the FTP module
14. press enter to unload disk
15. continue on to setup to add your swap and configure your disk.
16. when it comes to select your media, you have a lovely install from
an FTP server option(4). Yay!
17. Setup your IP address(I think DHCP works here), subnet mask,
18. specify ip address/install dir of FTP install source.
19. Read output after system attempts to mount FTP drive. if
successful, press n for no more attempts to setup FTP and continue.
The rest is like any other Slackware install.

Posted by Jeffrey at 3:34 PM | Comments (0)