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Hi.............................................................................................................................................................................. well that was awkward!

I wish I had a Green Thumb

So I’ve decided to make this a random post about my life lately (I think it’s been pretty exciting!). First off, if you read my last post, you know that I have been growing some plants in my apartment, so I thought I would do an update on all of them! Here is a quick list of the plants I have right now: pineapple(2), peas, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, cilantro, and some mystery flowers. Of my pineapple plants, I have been growing one of them for about 8 months and the other for only about a month. You can see both of them below.

this is a picture of my pineapple plants

As for my peas, I had them growing in an ice cream pail (one of my favorite ways to grow things!), but have recently transplanted them into a large pot. As a result some of them are looking pretty dead. However, I do have two pods growing!!!! (See below (it’s kind of like “Where’s Waldo” except everything is green))

Just peas.

I won’t be posting a picture for my herbs because I already did so in my last post, but I will talk about them more since I LOVE herbs!! Like I said above I have 5 different herbs growing right now, and boy are they growing! I’ve only pruned some of them once (thyme and basil), but soon I will have to make some salsa since my cilantro is at a perfect height! I’ve already used most of the basil I cut. I like to add it to pasta sauce for a little more flavor, and also love to make italian seasoned burgers! The more I use herbs in my cooking the more I learn about their flavors and what they go well with! (Can you tell I love herbs??) Any who, enough about that. You are probably still wondering what the mystery flower is, and I’m sorry to inform you that I still have no idea what they are. There are a few flowers though and one of them has already bloomed! Here’s the bud before it opened up.

this is a pic of a mystery flower

I was about to say that’s everything that I’m growing, but then I remembered I was growing some tomato plants! They started out as seeds and grew like weeds! Since I didn’t have something larger to put them in, and my girlfriend’s sister has a small garden at her house, I decided to put them in the ground and see if they would make it in the real world!

This is a picture of tomato plants

Lastly I wanted to share what I had for dinner the other night, since it is one of my favorite things to make!


I love making oriental chicken! (Mostly because my favorite foods are chicken and rice!) Here I made fried breaded chicken with a spicy sauce. I used this recipe. When I usually make this dish I make it as is, however, this time I left out the orange and made the sauce spicy by adding a lot of red pepper flakes and some ground cayenne pepper!

So yeah, hope you enjoyed everything in this post, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t tried growing their own herbs, pineapples, etc. to try it some time! If you follow all of the growing instructions you will love the results!

Also, here are some links to sites about growing stuff!
How To Grow Stuff
How To Grow a Pineapple Top



Who put that soap in there?

So the other day I was doing the dishes (since there was a decent pile in the sink) and decided that it would be a good idea to add some dish soap to the dishwasher in hopes that the dishes would come out cleaner than usual. Well…. it worked…. and then…. I ended up cleaning the floors too….

“No one told me I couldn’t put dish soap in there!?”

On a better note, my girlfriend, Mary, has now become a blacksmith!

For her class this summer, “The History of Invention and Ancient Technology,” she has to do a final project, and will use the pick she is making in the picture above to make a mold for a tile she will make (wish I was taking this class!).

Finally, I thought I would share this since the olypics are this weekend.

This past weekend Mary and I dressed up as an equestrian and a fencer while attending a party in honor of the olympics. For Mary’s outfit, she wore a plain white shirt, riding pants that she had from her riding days, boots from her sister, and a custom made riding crop. The crop was made with a wooden dowel that we trimmed to size, and duct tape. As for my outfit, I wore a plain white shirt, baseball pants (from Walmart), and a custom made foil. I made the foil in a similar fashion as the crop. I used a dowel for the core of the blade, cardboard for the hand guard, and duct tape to hold it all together (and make it look good!).

So yeah, go America!!!

Roughin’ it: A guide to being thrifty

So I realized today that I haven’t posted in a WHILE (due to work and other things(life)). So today’s post will probably a long one(really should be its own blog!) to make up for these missed days! So let’s get right into it.

Recently my girlfriend, Mary, and I have been trying to save our pennies in any way possible. Our most recent effort can be seen here:

laundry hanging

Bypassing the drying phase to save a whopping $3.00

Since our landlord decided to raise the price of the drying machine in our apartment building from $1.25 to $1.50 we decided to skip using it and instead air dry all of our clothes, which worked out quite nicely! All this required was a few feet of yarn, some nails, a fan, and an assortment of places throughout my room where we could hang things to dry.

My second money-saving tip/topic has to do with saving money on gas. I figured that this would be a great item to touch on seeing as how gas prices are around $3.50/gal. I recently read an article from Popular Mechanics about ways to save on gas and found many of the ways to be very simple and easy-to-do. The first way to save gas, which is also, in my opinion, the most important way, is to avoid driving your car at all cost! If you really want to save money and gas, this will be the biggest money saver of them all. This basically means that when you can walk or ride your bike, etc. to where you need to be, do it. Especially when the place you need to get to is a mile away or closer. Plus, this way you get some exercise!

The second tip I want to talk about is the type of gas you buy. When you go to fill up at your favorite gas station, look at the pump and see if you can find anything that says, “Contains (#)% ethanol”, or something similar. What this means is that the gas contains a certain amount of ethanol (at most gas stations in the U.S. the gas will contain 10% (E10 gas)). For those of you who don’t know, ethanol is more commonly known as alcohol, or spirits (a.k.a. vodka, gin, rum, etc.). The problem with having ethanol in gasoline is that it burns much faster than gasoline, and therefore increases the amount of fuel that is burned compared to ethanol free gas. Having said that, ethanol is not entirely bad. If you aren’t worried about gas mileage, ethanol is where it’s at, and this is because it produces safer emissions compared to E10 gasoline. I won’t really go more into it than that, so if you want to read up more about ethanol, here’s the wikipedia page.

The next few tips are about maintenance of your car and driving techniques. The first thing I want to talk about is the tires on your car. A big gas saver can come from having the correct tires on your car. The best tires to have on your car are usually the tires that the owner’s manual specifies. Otherwise, you want to avoid large, flat tires, as these will cause extra friction on the tires, thus making the engine work harder to move the car. At the same time, you don’t want to have tires that have a diameter that is too large or too small for your car. The diameter tires that the manual specifies are specially designed for your car to have the best mileage.

Next, let’s talk about good driving habits. One of the biggest mileage monsters (came up with that one myself) is idling your car. This ranges from leaving your car running while you run to the bathroom, to being stopped at a red light, and there are easy fixes to most of these. If you know that you have to leave your car running for more than a couple of minutes, shut it off. When your car is running, it’s burning gas. If you live in a place where you run into a lot of stop lights, try to find a route that reduces that number and results in you waiting less at them. As a side note, stated in the PM article, if you can, plan your trip to only have right turns. This reduces the amount of time you wait at a stop sign, or light. Lastly, on the notes of stop lights, if you can’t reduce your route’s stop lights, when you roll up to a stop light, DON’T STOP. Even if you are going 2MPH, it takes less gas for your car to continue driving than from a dead stop. As a last technique, when you are driving slowly through rural areas, roll down the windows. This reduces the amount of work your engine has to do compared to having the A/C on. However, when you are at highway speeds (60MPH), roll up the windows and crank the A/C. Having the windows down at those speeds creates drag that will slow down your car (as proven by Mythbusters ((Haha, the last time I looked at this blog was almost a month ago! Shows how dedicated I am!!) I was going to put a link to the video here, but I couldn’t find it…).

The final thing I want to talk about in this short guide to being thrifty, is being self-sufficient by growing your own food (vegetables, fruit, etc.). If you have the ability to plant a garden (or have animals you can harvest as food (cows, pigs, chickens, etc.)), do it! Not only will you save money by doing this, you will also enjoy the feeling of eating something your grew (or raised) yourself! I know it may seem like a lot of work (and it can be), but it is definitely worth it! And for those of you who think you can’t grow anything because you live in an apartment (or equivalent), all you have to do is buy a planting pot, soil, and seeds! It’s so easy even I am growing my own herbs and other plants!

Herb Garden

Herbs I grew in my apartment

So as you can see, it’s very easy to save money. You just have to put forth the effort, and you will happy with the results! I hope you enjoyed my short guide, and maybe some of these things will work for you!

Survivor, it’s not just a game

Sorry for the late post, my internet at home was broken so I haven’t gotten a chance to do much of anything internet related until today.

Today’s post goes out to my girlfriend, Mary. I want to talk about a pro tip that will help get you through college: rationing your food. I have practiced this skill many times when holidays grow close or it’s the end of the semester. The key to this tip is to use what you have in ways you never imagined before!

Like you see on Survivor, Man vs. Wild, Dual Survival, etc. you have to make due with anything you can. When I say this I don’t mean you have to go out and kill animals and harvest plants and berries to eat, I mean to use the things that have been sitting in your freezer for 3 months that you forgot about, or the 20 lbs. of ground beef you bought. Make meals that use random things, even if it might sound nasty, you may be surprised! Also, when you are buying groceries, buy things that correspond to you living situation. If you live in a dorm, and don’t want to eat the food the university provides for you, you will want to stick to your non-perishable food items, such as ramen noodles, easy mac, and other microwave meals that you just add water to. If you live in an apartment with fridge space and a decent kitchen, you will obviously have more freedom with what you buy. But what I found best, is to buy things in larger quantities, and buy the off-brand stuff too (it usually tastes the same), because it’s usually way cheaper!

So as I said, if you want to get through college without worrying about starving, just imagine you are on a survival show and it’s the end of the world. Buy the cheapest things you can find and in multiples. It can be a lifesaver sometimes!


Save Your Change

So today at our end of the year meeting for UW Marching band, Mike (Mike Leckrone) was telling us that after our halftime show at the Rose Bowl this past January, he was getting down from his podium and a director from the Oregon band came up to him and said, “If there was one thing I could say about your band, it’s that they are relentless.” This is how life should always be, for everyone. Relentless.

What I mean is that you should never give up on your goals and dreams. You should always be trying to achieve them and make them come true, even if the odds are not in your favor. This idea applies to your person as well.

A good way of making yourself a better person, (that is, the person you have always dreamed of being) is to start good habits that will benefit you in the long-run. Even if they don’t seem like much right now, they can make a HUGE difference later in life. So my advice to you is to start early!!

Be the little kid who saves all of the money they get when they are young. You will thank yourself for doing so later.

As always,

“What do you mean I can’t cite Google as a source?”

Today’s topic: using your resources. I’ve found out the hard way that you MUST use your resources, and not just in college. This topic applies to everything in life. There is a virtually unlimited amount of resources in the world for you to use to succeed in both school and life.

Now, for most of you, I’m sure that the internet has crossed your mind as your first resource. And that isn’t a bad thing. The internet is a fantastic resource filled with more information imaginable. The only downside is that you must be able to recognize the validity of the information. You all know how easy it is to post anything you want on the internet and so having the ability to recognize valid information is a great skill to have.

As for the other, just as important and useful, resources, all you have to do is open up your eyes and ASK QUESTIONS!!!!!! Not only will you find your life to be at least ten times easier, you will also gain valuable skills that will assist you in getting a great job. There are countless jobs out there that require good communication skills and ability to ask questions when you need to. So get in the habit of it now and use it to your every advantage! You will love the results!


Fun, fun, fun, ’til her daddy took the T-Bird away….

Sorry I’m so late with this post, I’ve been busy working all weekend, plus I went to see the new Avengers movie on friday, which was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! Which brings me to my topic of this post: HAVING FUN! I suppose this sort of ties in with my last post about doing things for yourself, but today I want to focus more so on the fun things!

When you get to college you will quickly find out that it isn’t all fun and games like you may think it is. It requires a great amount of work and determination, and you may find youself holed up in your room for days at a time. So my advice for you is to use the free time you get wisely. Yes now I sound like an adult telling you to be smart about things and all that, but what I mean is that you should use that free time to take some stress out of your life. And it doesn’t even have to be something extravagant; it could be going to the movies, or taking a walk through the zoo, or even just going to the mall for a few hours, even if you don’t buy anything. What ever it is that makes you happy and takes your mind off of all the work you have to do, do it when ever you get the chance. You will find that it really helps you to get motivated again to do work.

And if you don’t have much free time and still need a break, you can always find some website with random things or fun/stupid games to play just to give your mind a break for a while. Trust me, it helps!