Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A mini Bulletin Board!

I was "board" for something to make, so I reused a small piece of corkboard in this frame to make a small message board. I have two more frames and hope to come up with something different for them.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Night Kitchen - A restaurant for the nite owls

Okay I know I am not a pro chef, or a foodie, I just love good food and every once in awhile need to write about great food experiences-

Every once in awhile, something great happens on the late shift that makes you glad to work nights. The Night Kitchen in downtown Seattle is one of those things. Chef Avalon Zanoni’s Pacific Northwest-styled take on New American Cuisine incorporates favorite dishes from all over the US. The Night Kitchen has hours that most would find unusual-6pm to 9am- The perfect restaurant for local night owls.Their menu includes comfort foods, lots of local cheeses and veggies from local farmers. People can eat and relax in the dining room or in the lounge with drink and snack service for those who want to relax and play a game or get some work done.
Martin had the Mac and Cheese

This trip I had the cheese board, a selection of three cheese chosen from their menu board, Fig Confiture, Crostini followed by a serving of Fries, that came with their homemade dipping sauces. I particularily liked how the fries were served, in a metal vase lined with paper. like a big ice cream cone- very smart! The prices are moderate to high, in concordance to the quality of the food. Dinner served from 6pm to midnight and after midnight, late-night snacks plus a full breakfast menu. As they say there is nothing better than breakfast in the middle of the night. Amd I must agree.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Walking a hiking trail

I decided romeo needed some exercise, and that it wouldn't hurt me either... so off we went on a nature trail near the house....
Apparently there is a flat-tailed beaver Castor canadensis on the trail.

Not this particular guy!

Didn't see any dams in the stream though.

One Word:

This little fellow was having a siesta on this cut stump.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nom Nom Nom... Independence Days Update

Missed last week so here is two weeks worth of update. Didn't do much as we are just now getting summer, and was very busy with the Bike Fair, Wild Strawberry Festival and crap I do in June every year. No wonder my yard looks like a tornado landed in it!A couple of the tomato plants in buckets am experiementing with this year. Flanked by the old Plymouth
Independence Days Challenge Year 3, Weeks 22 & 23
1. Plant something: Radishes, transplanted a couple of tomatoes
2. Harvest something: Radishes, pineapple weed, clover heads, bok choy, tomato.
3. Preserve something: dried some more pineapple weed for tea,
4. Waste Not: Got a couple of more pieces of cardboard for community garden
5: Want not: Found a replacement Bike seat for one of my old single speeds at a garage sale for a quarter! Bought a half flat of strawberries at the strawberry festival.
6. Preparation and Storage:Nothing
7. Build Community Food Systems:Manned the booth for Sustainable Burien, Passing out used coffee grounds and wild strawberry plants, answered questions about the community garden.
8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Strawberries n crème, homemade strawberry "ice cream", bok choy and tomato in salad

Garden Challenge "Extreme Evangelist Edition"Nothing new. Just carrying on carrying on.

Sammy and Romeo Stars of the Interwebs

Sammy Cat and Romeo Dawg have their own pages on Catser and Dogster! Check them out!
#1 dog site for dogs & bipeds!

#1 cat site for cats & bipeds!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Stay Winner!

Well due to the overwhelming response to this giveaway... (yeah- right) Lets warm up the old true random number generator and pick a winner.... Number 2 which is H2 who came over from Green Roof Growers Blog to win the autographed copy of "Stay" by Allie Larkin. Congratulations H2! Make sure you send me your snail mail info so I can get the book sent pronto!

And, just in case any of you doubted whether Allie and I actually met up... here is the proof from her blog

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I do a guest post!!!

Yo everyone. I have a guest post today on the Cheap Like Me Blog, all about my love affair with Electric Lawn Mowers. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Be A Patriot... Ride Mass Transit

I have been riding the bass to work. Everyday for two weeks... Personally I think it is Patriotic.
I know not everyone can ride mass transit. Until recently I couldn't see riding a bus to work. Then I discovered the busline that runs by my Mom's apartment also is the same bus line that runs four blocks from where I work. The only problem- The last bus on the run to go home is 20 minutes too soon for me. So I talked to my boss about starting 20 minutes early. No real problems he said. So that was settled I could ride the bus to work.
FUEL SAVINGS- Dollar wise, I don't notice much. I know it saves on wear and tear on my vehicle.And it takes 40 minutes out of my day. No big deal. I just sit on the bus and relax and enjoy a cup of herbal tea or coffee. And I have to get out into my community. When walking you notice things, and when riding you notice things.
The one big Advantage: Each time I ride the bus, I feel like I am raising my middle finger in the air to BP, whom I have a feeling is of the attitude that we are not mad enough to stop driving our cars. Which is true, we aren't. We all get pissed off and mad for a short while, then we get in our cars to go to work. Or to the store. Or wherever. See, I feel that our addiction to oil is the problem, and companies like BP are the dealer to our addiction.
Now, I am not claiming perfection, I still drive to other places. But my point is…
Yes the buses still use petrol and diesel to run. But a full bus runs on less per person. It's like car pooling. And helps lower our dependance on foreign oil, (the patriotism part) and in turn makes us more self sustaining. The next step is to maybe get an electric bike and ride to work!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A cookbook rack

I wanted a small space to store my cookbooks. But where?
I looked around the garage and found some dvd racks I had leftover from the living room.
I took two Ikea Lerberg DVD storage racks and put them together to make a slim bookshelf for cookbooks and such. A simple solution for under $12. I just assembled two of the lerbergs per normal, and instead of mounting them to the wall, I mounted them together to make a bookshelf, thin, but big enough for my cook books.

Since you are here, why not enter my latest giveaway? A copy of the book "Stay" by Allie Larkin, signed by the Author herself!

This blog post is linked to: trash to treasure Tuesdays at "Reinvented blog";

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Big weekend at the Wild Strawberry Festival

It was a very cold day for June on Saturday. And Rainy on Sunday. It didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits at this years Wild Strawberry Festival in Burien, My Fair City, as attendance seemed good.
The Bike Fair was a great thing.

a van outfitted with a Metro Bus Bike Rack to demonstrate how to load your bike on a bus

I personally learned how to use the Bike racks on our Metro Buses. And got some great information on bikes and commuting in King County.Not that I am going to start commuting by bus/bike or any thing. More on that tomorrow. But it is great to know how to.

Just some of 24 unwanted or unused bikes going for a new life!

Bike Works - the unique orginization who takes unwanted and unused bikes to rebuild. They also allow underprivledged youth work for credit on the bikes to earn a bike!
There was even a green landscaper there at the bike fair

And there where over 24 bikes donated to Bike Works so thats 24 bikes that will find a new home and not be entered into the waste stream.

People seemed to like the Bike Rack made from a futon. Also, seems I missed my calling- people all over asked me where I got my T-shirt that said "I Bike B-Town".

The logo I put on my t-shirt

When I told them I made it they asked if I was selling them. I had to say no, I only made them for myself and a few volunteers. But gives me some job ideas for when I retire!

Wild Coastal Strawberry Plants- Native and a great ground cover
The Sustainable Burien Booth went off good as well... this year we were handing out free Native Coastal Strawberry plants, donated by one of our members who has these instead of grass for her yard. And we were handing out bags of Used Coffee grounds, donated by Burien Press, for people to use for soil ammendment, or put in their compost or worm bins. Didn't get to see much of the Fathers' Day Car Show but honestly those are more fun to be a participant in than a spectator!
My only complaint was the lack of food vendors. No Elephant Ears??? No Funnel Cakes??? Damn I had to make do with Corn on a stick and cotton candy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Getting ready for a festival

Let's see...
Splash Park on and operational... Check

New Bike Racks for parking bikes... Check

Rob has the extra portable futon bike rack ready and tables and canopy for Sustainable Burien Booth... Check! Looks like everything is ready for the Annual Burien Wild Strawberry Festival, today and Sunday at town square park in Burien, My fair city. Looks like a good time with a Bike Festival on Saturday and a classic car show on Sunday. And lots of vendors and giant inflatable climbing things for the kiddies.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Independent Book Sellers

You know, part of the downside to the technology revolution is the demise of independent book sellers. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with Allie Larkin and her husband Jeremy at one of those amazing places, Third Place Books in Lake City, just north of Seattle. A really good book seller, I was amazed at the space and size, and really amazed someone would house a bookstore in the same building as a branch of the King County Library.
We have the advantage here in the Northwest of still having an array of independent book sellers. In Seattle, although they had to move to new digs on Capital Hill we have Elliot Bay Books, which is only dwarfed by one other in size, Powells in Portland. But this was my first visit to Third Place. I was impressed by the layout and the restaurants - it had like 5 different eateries all connected together - sort of a food court. You could get espresso, sushi, pizza or mexican. All served on a plate. All good.
As for Burien, My fair city, we have two booksellers, Burien Books, which was owned by the same lady for over fifty years, and was rumored to be the model of the bookstore in the movie "You've got mail", Sadly the owner recently passed away, but happily new owners have been found. We also are home to Page 2 books, a local 2nd hand book seller that has been around for a couple of years. Used book stores are a weakness of mine.
Anyway, I am tired of Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Borders. I say it is time we support our own independent book sellers, where ever you may live.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

STAY! GiveAway

Allie and fan, another blog writer turned author Mandy. Mandy's book comes out in October!

Today I had the good fortune to take a day off of work and go and meet Author Allie Larkin, and her great husvand, Jeremy. A quick bio on Allie- she has been around the blog world for awhile with "Allies Answers" which turned into "the Greenists" where she and a bunch of friends take turns writing about ways to green your life and your pets life as well.

As for her book "Stay!" which I reviewed a week or so ago, is a great book. About a girl, the man of her dreams, her best friend (who marries said man of her dreams), the dog of her dreams (which she bought on the internet from Slovakia while drunk on Vodka and Grape Kool Aid (the aftermath of being maid of honor at the wedding of her best friend and man of her dreams) and the vetrinarian of her dreams.

NOW TO THE GIVEAWAY- Since I Rob, got to hear Allie do a reading, I Have a great giveaway... a copy of "Stay". But not just any copy... a copy of Stay signed by the author herself!!! Could be worth millions some day. Especially after Allie wins a Pulitzer, and they make "Stay" into a movie starring Jennifer Aniston or Amy Adams. Hey it could happen.

Anyway the usual entry rules apply- leave a comment to this post. Thats it. Done. The winner will be selected by random a week from now On June 25th at midnight PST.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Clock on

Sherri Osborn from Crafts featured my Altoid Tin Clock I made on her Family Crafts blog, along with instructions on making your own clock from an Altoids tin.

Review: MAD CITY CHICKENS the movie!

I wanted to put on a viewing of the movie Mad City Chickens, only to find out it would cost about $200. None of my groups would cover the expense, not that they could. So my options where left to order the movie on CD. or go with out. Temptation... temptation...

I recently succumbed to temptation and ordered MAD CITY CHICKENS, a documentary on the struggle or rather fight for the citizens if Madison, Wisconson to keep back yard chickens. This movie is a must see for any one who evered desires to keep a few birds (Here in Seattle and outlying cities you may keep 3 hens) Included in this movie are the featherless chicken who was found at the dump, rescued and given a new home, and a family on their first attempt at keeping chickens. Very good movie, very informative. Very worth the money to buy. or the hassle of putting on a showing. Here is a clip from the movie:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

60 Days Smoke Free

Well okay it has been two months. No Cig's. Haven't killed anyone YET. Although the urge to kill is there, I don't want the hassle. So folks are safe, for now. Just don't mention cigarette taxes and the lack of liquor tax, school levies or anything to do with taxes, as increasing mine. I still feel all citizens of this country who quit should get a one time tax rebate, as other peoples kids got to go to school because of cigarette tax revenue. In fact there is an argument to use with your kids as why not to smoke- Smoking may fund schools. Worth a try. I do know that the world is a better place with a smoke free rob, but dammit I miss it. Even with the environmental positives. Even though I was always a responsible smoker and always put my cigarette out then threw it away, those little plastic filters no longer collect at the dump. I guess I am pretty glad about that, and no plastic cigarette wrapper or box, or foil paper. I guess cigarettes are pretty stupid when you think about it, from a tax revenue point to an evironmental point.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gorilla Gardener Challenge Update

Well shit. They bulldozed over my guerilla plot. Oh well, I just have to keep my eyes open for a new spot. They bulldozed it over for the upcoming Wild Strawberry festival. So they could use the space.At least they left the clumps of clover alone so I can still forage clover heads for tea. So thats my report... looking for a new spot!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly Challenge Update

Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Year 3, week 21
1. Plant something: Radishes, lettuce
2. Harvest something: Radishes, pineapple weed.
3. Preserve something: drying pineapple weed heads for tea
4. Waste Not: Got some more cardboard for community garden
5: Want not: Obtained some canning jars at garage sale
6. Preparation and Storage:
7. Build Community Food Systems: Helped a guy build a three bin composter at community garden, got elected to board, having head examined on Wednesday
8. Eat the Food (cook or eat something new): Radishes

Garden Challenge Extreme Evangelist Edition- Helped a guy build a three bin composter at community garden, got elected to board, having head examined on Wednesday, The gardens are looking good. Lots of stuff coming up!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Phew! Hard Work

Today I helped a guy from Sustainable Burien build a composter for the "bee-patch". Not just a single bin, but one of them there new fangled triple bin composters that you see on Garden shows. Now we are qualified to build pallets LOL!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sometimes Kitty Says it Best!!!

"It's fucking oil Man...They'll need us again...until then .. Whatever"

BP's new ad campaign:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

More about Allie Larkin and "Stay"

Allie Larkin and Argo

Allie Larkin is a writer. And she asked me if I would host a stop on her "Stay" Blog Book Tour. She even sent me a copy of her book "Stay".
She said Stay wasn't particularily a enviromental book. I told her, that the book is about a girl and her dog... it has to be an enviromental book, anyway I read the book- just finished it - started it last night at 10pm; made it through the day and work... so the whole book in a 24 hour period. That to me is a sign of a good book (I can't put it down until done).

"Stay" is a great book. It features characters that you want to get to know. The main character, Van (short for Savannah) is like most of my female friends. Get her dander up, and a few drinks and she will cuss you a new one. The fact that someone would order a dog, let alone a German Shepard, over the internet is an amusing premise. But Van is lonely, mourning her mother, and Peter, the love of her life who just married her best friend. So Enter Joe, big beautiful german shepard from Slovakia, and her new relationship with Alex Brendt, veterinarian. The fact that Joe would and could become a major part of her is reality gone great. The characters in "Stay" are real enough that you can get angry with them, sad with them, laugh with them. I am wondering who is going to play Van in the movie?
Really, I am looking forward to Allie's next novel. I predict she will be our next great fiction talent. Especially with a debut like "Stay"

Thanks Allie for making Rob's World a stop on your "Stay" Blog tour. Can't wait to meet you at your book signing on the 17th.

Shhhh...Genious at work!!!

First off I must congratulate the plumber who came up with this. I imagine that flushometers are hard to come by wherever he is. This is a classic Make Do and Mend moment. I salute you O brother of the plunger.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Let there be light!

In the dining room I have a dark zone.. as in no light, no light fixtures. I solved the problem by first spray painting two cheap wall sconces I found at the thrift store with Rustoleum Hammered 7218830 - Dark Bronze spray paint to match my dining room light fixture, then mounting them onto to "decopage" boards, that I took a router to to make a ridge for a lamp fixture cord to run down so I could simply plug them in like a lamp. I simply wired them as a lamp and ran the cords to an outlet that has a switch. Works great and no more dark zone!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Join with Kitchen Gardeners International and help fight hunger.
I would like to invite you to sign a petition. Now ordinarily, on Facebook you just invite FB Friends to sign, but the hell with that!. I am inviting everyone, FB Users or Not, to go and sign this

About this Petition:
July 4th comes once a year, but every day can be Food Independence Day if you make efforts to source your meals locally and grown some of your own food. Please sign our pledge/petition below to express your support for kitchen gardens, local foods, farmers, and food producers in your area.

The Desired Outcome of this Petition:
All of our country's first families leading by example by sourcing their July 4th meals as locally, deliciously, and sustainably as possible and announcing their Independence Day menus in advance of the holiday as an inspiration to others.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Green Festival Fun

It seemed to be a successful Green Festival in Seattle. I of course, was overwhelmed by the groups and such, And also by all the green building products and suppliers. I volunteered to work at the S.c.a.l.l.o.p.s. (Sustainable Communities ALL Over Puget Sound)booth. It was fun to spend a rainy day with like minded people coming together to spread their words and organizations!

There were a lot of "Green" Building companies and products - of course I wanted them all. There was also eco friendly pet products, vegans, PETA, (no I didn't tease or feed the peta people) as well as campaign and political issues. Even Dr. Bonner's soaps were there giving out samples of soap. I can't really say there was any of what I would call "greenwashing as all the companies involved were arguably already green.
Some of them had interesting products I haven't seen in person before like this large wooly pockets wall planter
One of the fun things at the S.C.A.L.L.O.P.S booth was a face painter. Here a young lad is getting made up like his favorite animal.
Of course some big old bald guy had to get his shiny bald forehead painted too

Slowing down = the weekly challenge update

I don't know if I am slowing down or what, but only have 1 challenge to update. Or maybe some other bloggers are getting old and slow- I won't mention names!
Sharon's Independence Days Challenge Week 20, Year 3
1. Plant something: some chard seeds, some lettuce seeds, radish seeds
2. Harvest something: Thinnings or Micro Greens what have you- The seedlings I thined out of the community garden plot; Some mesclun; radishes
3. Preserve something: Froze a big old ham bone for soup
4. Waste Not: Mom made ham for Sunday dinner, Me and my dog will enjoy that ham bone in bean soup, I of course will boil the meat off the bone, then he can have that bone! There was enough ham leftover to feed me all week long!
5: Want not: Pound of fresh picked cherries form the farmer's market, and of course a bundle of asparagus; got a new Sofa Table- fresh from the dumpster!
6. Preparation and Storage: Cleaned front yard- made room for new planting bed!
7. Build Community Food Systems: took some raspberry plants to the community garden so they could plant them
8. Eat the food "Eat/cook something new- Ate the thinnings in a ham sandwich; mesclun mix in a salad;

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June is National Fruit and Vegetable Month

Summertime and the eatin' is easy when you can graze your way through the stacks of fresh produce now available in grocery stores, at farmers' markets and, if you are fortunate, at nearby roadside stands.

Did you know that June is National Fruit and Vegetable month? Me neither. And, just in time, the federal government has issued new dietary guidelines for Americans to follow in selecting foods that promote good health. Not surprisingly, the fifth edition of the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" emphasizes a balanced, moderate diet that includes a variety of food choices, particularly grains, fruits and vegetables. For more information on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, visit According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), more Americans than ever -- 28 percent -- are adjusting their eating habits to achieve healthier lifestyles. The ADA national public opinion survey, Nutrition and You: Trends 2000 reported 84 percent of those polled said diet and nutrition are personally important to them. More information on the survey is available at . Fun information for kids and teachers about the National 5 a Day for Better Health program is available at

And speaking of Fruit and Veggie Month, Out Of Office blog has a template for making your own garden markers. And of course this is the time of year for garden recipes!!! Like Tomato Pie, or Garden Skewers.

Friday, June 4, 2010


My friend Allie Larkin has a book coming out June 10. Entitled "STAY". About a girl and her dog.
Should be a good read.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hey Easy on the Drano!!!

I thought it would be good to post about 'gentler' drain un-clogging. You know - from a plumber's perspective! Drain Cleaners like Liquid plum'r, Drano are not so kind to your pipes, and are not so kind to sewage and septic systems. Their main ingredient is hydrochloric acid. Which is neither good for you or the environment. Here I am offering a few kinder gentler ways to unclog your pipes:

A "Drain King" system-apprx $25-35 for the complete set up of the drain king, hose, faucet adapter and drain adapter (for sink drains). May seem a tad expensive at first, but the first time you use this product you will fall in love with it. It works buy plugging your drain and then pushing a high amount of water through it. Not the best on bathroom sinks (due to the overflow drain) but works well on drain lines, kitchen sinks. Side benefit... Unplugs downspouts as well!

An old fashion plumbers helper- (A.K.A. "a Force cup"or "Plunger"), it will shoot a simple shot of air in your pipes.

Zip It Hair Clog Remover I first saw on of these in the Safeway house ware aisle. I also scoffed the first time I saw one. But, have been amazed how much hair it grabs out of the shower drain. Very simple, cheap answer to simple hair clogs. Keeps morning arguments to a minimum.

An old fashioned plumbers helper- (A.K.A. "a Force cup"), it will shoot a simple shot of air in your pipes.

A toilet snake- or "Auger" will work well to force out those nasty toilet plugs. A necessity if you have kids who like to flush their bobo bears down the toilet to see if they can swim or not. AT work this has helped me fish out all sorts of toys at the daycare center as well as cell phones and pagers and make up cases in the "adult" buildings, not to mention folks who apparentely have never seen toilet paper before and just love using it- 1/2 roll at a time!
A sewer auger- this is more pro tool than home owner tool, but many are available from tool rental stores. Using them is a tad complicated but well worth it, especially if you have a clean out on the line you want to clear. Hint if you are going to auger your toilet line, take the toilet of first.

A "Drill Auger"- Like a sewer auger but a bit more reasonable cost wise. ($25-$35) Great for using on smaller lines, sink lines. You power it with your own Drill Motor
Baking Soda- I cannot vouch for this as I don't do it, but I am told that pouring 1 cup of baking soda down the drain works well to clean out the gunk. Flush with water.
Strainer: The simplest way to stop clogs before they start. I have a strainer in the bathtub, one that fits in the drain. I think it is in upside down, but works better this way.
And I found a strainer for the kitchen sink... One that fits in the disposal drain hole
Speaking of Garbage Disposals- Don't know much about them... don't use one per se, As I have a septic system and don't want to fill my tank with stuff that can fill my composter with. But am told a little lemon juice and Baking soda makes them fresh smelling. Also a good hint is to crush a few Ice Cubes in the disposal.
Try these first before calling this guy: