Sunday, September 28, 2014

School of Origami Fish

DSC_6772 Just a quick post on the weekend projects. DSC_6776   Lots and Lots of origami fish.   I have been working on a catfish that has showed promise.   But I’ll have to play with it more to get it display worthy.  In the mean time, I just listed a bunch of “experiments’ that I have been playing with over the last few months.  Mostly small fish originally for an order that never materialized.   So….with a little luck….someone on Etsy will have the fortune to cash in on a stock of fish for half price.  we shall see how it goes.  In the mean time..enjoy the pics! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Adventures with Cheryl ( and Ethan) : The Beer Float

f9a8aa02a380637bfba6a4bc5314008d  Well,  Technically this was all Cheryl's Idea.  My only contribution was that I failed to oppose it.  Cheryl liked the Three Philosophers so much, she put forth the Idea that we should make a float out of it with a “really good Ice cream!”   Stracciatella_gelatoI like beer….I like Ice Cream.   What could possibly go wrong?

Well,  First….Really good Ice cream in Cheryl’s book is Gelato.  And not just vanilla…Oh no!   It has to be Caramel Sea Salt.  This is where a few problems come in.   The Caramel Sea Salt Gelato has “Chunks” in it.   Little chocolate covered caramel bits that have a nice semi sweet salty taste.  ( sounds pretty good….if you plan on not making a float of any kind) DSC_6523

In case you fail to see the logical problem with this.   I’ll reveal a little spoiler:   Chocolate covered Caramels do NOT dissolve in beer….Let alone ANY liquid. Your Smooth creamy taste is going to be interrupted with “texture” .   Again…..Texture is fine…in say:  A sundae.   But not in a float.

DSC_6528 Then there is the Chemical reaction that occurs when you pour beer over ice cream.   I’m not sure what processes are going on..but it does this to the foam.  At first I didn’t think it looked that bad.   The Dark Brown color gave it a rich caramel look…..However….if you look at it from another angle.  It looks like  a bubbling brew of toxic waste.


Still need help?  Let’s change the color a bit. DSC_6529

Then there is the flavor.   Despite the texture,  I actually did not think the flavor was that bad.   Sure,  I would most likely no seek it out again.    But it was at least palatable.  I have eaten Worse things before.   I do not, however, like to be reminded of those events.648c92d0e54a174fb8311ecd4079043f untitled   Cheryl on the other hand, was not so forgiving.  She ended up giving my the remainder of her float and noted that she though the “Two Great Tastes… not always Taste Great Together.” In this case,  it would appear that the two great testes cancel each other out. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

ACT Finale! With Hummingbirds....

Let's start with the good news first:  I finally was able to capture my own hummingbird pictures!   They are remarkably friendly!   Or Hungry.....Not sure which.    It has been warm in the evenings and even though the mornings are cold, the hummers still are hanging on.   I recently filled up the feeder with perhaps my sweetest concoction of sugar water yet.   Chemically speaking, I'm not sure just how far I can go before the sugar will crystalize at room temperature.  Anyway,  the hummers seem to love it and continue to visit and swarm the feeder into the setting sun hours of the day.

I guess they are Ruby Throats.   Judging from the small red dot on one of the hummers neck.   I'm still fairly certain that I had a Black Chinned hummingbird visit earlier this summer....but I'm not 100% sure.   Even Ruby throated hummingbirds can appear to have a black throat if the angle of the sun is just right.    In the end,  it doesn't matter.   I still like the Ruby throats all the same.

I shall enjoy the show while it lasts.....In the mean time:

  ACT is going the way of the Dodo.  That is to say....( for clarity)  That the scoring section of ACT is going extinct.   Today was our last day. 

They ended the project early and told us that Friday was the end of things.   Also,  they are laying off all of the senior staff there that runs the projects.  We have been skeptical for a while whether we would ever get hired again.   We were lucky to nab onto this one!   But now....our doubts have been confirmed.   ACT will stick to the college tests and probably GMAT.  ( the ones that continue to make money..I guess) but the 'dipping of the toe' into the High school waters has appeared to prove too cold for the exec's.   It's all good.   We were ready to move on anyway.   It's sad to see some of the folks that we have grown fold of over the last several years lose their source of income.  But I'm sure many of them ( Even Cheryl and I) have been down this road before and I'm sure they will pull through to greener pastures.  Time will tell.  

In the mean time.  Enjoy ths supper short video of the hummers.  I was able to get pretty close to them!  Maybe they will eventually sit on my hand and sip nectar our of my palm.  Wouldn't that be cool! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hummingbirds, Whooping Cranes, And a revisit to the Three philosophers.

BIRDwhoopingcraneBarrenCoKY7Feb10DLRoemer   th98U2LP0Y   It’s getting cold here in Iowa….and the Migration is on!   Last week,  Cheryl and I witnessed migrating Whooping Cranes over Iowa City during the Saturday Farmers Market.  We had to look them up because I was not sure what they were at first.   You see…it was bright, chilly, and the sky was the most Brilliant of Sapphire Blue.  These birds were strikingly white and black. Wcranes-ken-bushman  I have seen plenty of Sand Hill Cranes and Blue Herons.  Egrets live further south and are completely white.   But never there black wing tips.  DSC_6452It was funny..because we have a mobile with whooping cranes in our very living room.  Anyway,   the online search shows how they differ from other birds  ( like the Japanese version)  They were quite the site to see.  DSC_0157 And most people never noticed then because they were VERY high in the sky.  Lucky us!whooping-cranes-flying-i15



  And then there are the hummingbirds.  Hummingbirds-after-Rain-1-of-1-nggid03430-ngg0dyn-779x0x100-00f0w011c010r110f110r010t010I think the parent birds are gone and the “kids” remain fighting over the feeder.   As mentioned before.  the weather has become chilly as of last week and I’m sure it will not be long before they had better pull up stakes and head for warmer climate as well.   But in the mean time.  They have been fighting and swarming the feeder like fighter jets.  thW09ITENP They dogfight all day long until just before nightfall.   And then all three will call a truce and sit on the feeder together to tank up for the night.  I have been enjoying the fun for several days now.  I love my feeder getting so much activity.   I’m a little concerned that my “potent brew” might be causing them to hang out longer than they should.   I would hate for them to get stranded here when the killing frost its.  Ah well….I’m sure Mother nature has programmed into them somewhere when they should call it a day and head on out.  As for now…I’ll continue to enjoy the display. 


DSC_6445  And finally,   Cheryl and I revisited the Three Philosophers.  My first impression was smoky sweet.   Cheryl’s was Dried apricots.   I could taste the apricots after she had mentioned them….but I think Abby Ale is still my favorite.  Still.   It is a good beer and has quite the spectrum of flavors packed in.  ( more than just smoky apricots)  DSC_6450Cheryl thinks it would taste really good with a dark chocolate ice cream.   I’m not sure how any beer would taste with Ice Cream…but recently….with the various pumpkin ales and honey Weiss, I’m sure that it may be possible.   If that experience ever happens…I’m sure I will have to blog about it.  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Origami Anyone?

  DSC_6414 What is there to blog about other than origami anyway?  DSC_6411 I mean,  this was called the midnight carver once because all I ever did was carve wood.  Now I fold paper.   And my life is rather boring on a daily basis.

We have started another project for ACT recently and this one is cool!   Easy to score and the prompts fly by.  We get to work with all the cool people in our peer group and the trainings are interesting.  However…..sales are beginning to pick up and coming hoe zapped every night is beginning to strain our happy sales.   It’s a curious thing because we like working at DSC_6387ACT and we hear the work is slowly drying up so we should try to gather as much ACT as we can in the remaining time.   However…Stockings have always been priority when it comes to this time of year.   Similar to the Iowa Harvest I guess.

With that being said,  we have to make decisions on whether we wish to take another project following this one.   We shall see when the time presents itself.  In the mean time…enjoy the origami…


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