Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coffee Grinder

Our coffee grinder went kibbutz this week so we decided not to replace it with an electric/plastic one at all. I like fresh ground coffee, so I started cruising eBay for a hand-operated, no plastic version and we are also trying to buy used items. I figured we could pop for the $20 or so that a new electric one would cost and, if we liked it, we could get another for spices (Ximena and I cook almost every day from scratch and prefer to use whole spices). So, I found one that looked “antique” and was “used” but they claimed it still worked great. It looked kinda cool and cost about $20 with shipping and handling. We got it yesterday and it works! It was dirty and had to be cleaned, but that only took a little bit. The crank squeeks a tiny bit, so we will have to put a drop of oil on it, but we had coffee this morning after I cranked it up and ground some coffee beans. The downside? It takes about 2 minutes of cranking to get enough coffee for our ½ pot we drink. But, the grinder goes with our old-fashioned stove-top metal coffee pot, so I’m not complaining.


This week's blog is "open." You may post, rant, discuss anything you like (as long as it is not offensive to classmates, of course).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


So, I was at the grocery store last night and spotted a buch of huge loofah's hanging from a rack. We had been thinking of replacing most of the plastic in the kitchen (and in our daily eating habits--you know, like switching from plastic containers to ceramic and glass) so I nabbed one as they were pretty cheap ($2). I get home, cut baseball sized piece off and start waching dishes with this thing. In case you didn't know, the loofah is a plant. I did not have high hopes that a plant was going to be very useful in washing my dishes especially since I use these high-tech scrubber sponges (blue ones for glasses and yellow ones for everything else) but it really really worked! Who would have guessed? Now if I can find some way to know which one to use for glasses and which one to use for other stuff I am good to go!

NOTE: The glass thing: Ximena has a very strong sense of smell so we have to have a sponge just for glasses otherwise she says things like "Why does my coffee smell like fish again?"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


For the next two weeks' blogs you should report on the following:
1) What did you leanr at the libraries? And, "boredom" is a personal problem that college students keep to themselves. Learn to act interested like I do. Eventually, you will discover that you ARE interested.
2) What are you doing to save the planet now? Even little things can make a difference. I will be posting some more things that I am trying to do as well.
And that is it! I expect to see quite a bit of chatter on these two weeks (you may post responses in any order). Weeks SIX and SEVEN will be graded together after Spring Break.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another Photo

Here is another photo from the AMNH that I liked.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Let's save the planet . . . one bottle of water at a time. That's right! This week you get to start doing your little bit to keep us all (literally) above water and neck deep in trash. For the next few weeks' blogs, we will be researching to find information on how we can "go green" in at least some part of our lives. For this first blog in the series, find out what is possible (be sure to document your sources) and what you and your family can do to help save the people who live on this planet and not pass on mounds of troubles to our children and our children’s children. Be sure to explain why certain options are viable for you and your family and others are not.

To start your research, you may want to begin either at Dr. X's blog (a link is listed on my blog to the right) or at the LaGuardia Common Reading Page (a link is on the library page) or simply search "green living" and related terms in Google or Altavista, or Yahoo.

For example: I decided a year ago to try and follow Prof. Lucca in having a "paperless" classroom and have saved a LOT of paper--more than I ever would have thought of. Much more! However, there are also problems with the paperless class as we all use computers and computers use energy, so this is really the lesser of two evils. In my own personal life, I have changed a lot of things including the following:

My wife and I recycle almost everything.

I bought a glass bottle of water and use it to refill (plastic is bad for you and the environment and should be avoided).

I switched off of disposable razors and now use a more traditional one.

I use shaving soap in a cup instead of shaving cream in a can.

I now make my own beer and re-use bottles. How many teachers have you had who are also brewers? No, I do not have a still to make whisky as that would be illegal.

My wife and I now subscribe to magazines we want rather than picking them up at the news-stand (which are evil on paper waste!)

We get most of our news on the internet rather than through newspapers.

I am looking for a small travel coffee mug so I don't have to use Styrofoam or paper coffee cups.

We switched all out lights to those weird florescent ones (Our electric bill really dropped!)

I am paperless on most bills (I get them via email) and pay most bills electronically.

We try to reduce water waste whenever we can. For example, if we boil vegetables we save the water and, when it cools, use it to water plants. We have LOTS of plants. Oxygen in good, right?

We are working on a no-plastic kitchen. This will take several years, but soon I will be bringing my lunches to school in re-used glass jars. It seems a bit silly, but who watches me eat? You guys don't even know where my office is, right?

We just switched from using "antibacterial" soap for our dishes to regular dish soap. That antibacterial stuff is apparently both useless and lethal for the environment (and it works its way back into the drinking water. YUK!

That's it for now! Get started . . . .

(Ooooo. Maybe I can get one of these! Who wouldn't want a bamboo spork?)