Tag Archives: fire

UFSG or under the influence

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Bend Air Quality September 18, 2012

Bend Air Quality September 18, 2012

Sisters Air Quality September 18, 2012

Sisters Air Quality September 18, 2012

Bleh. A little under the weather. Or rather, under the influence of the weather plus fire: I blame Pole Creek Forest Fire smoke for my nausea and headache all day.

This is messing with my “productivity” plans. 

We’re lucky it’s just smoke; I don’t think anybody has been injured or any homes lost yet, even though the fire has been going for a week or so. But I think often of the poor killed or displaced animals up there—I wonder how frightening it is for them?!

My gods, no wonder, look at this—we’re labeled UNHEALTHY for Sensitive Groups (UFSG). And it says the air quality is often worse when it gets cool in the evening. In fact, it’s gone up a couple of notches since I started writing this post. Time to close the windows and turn on the house fan.

If you think that’s bad, look at Sisters {20 miles from here, very near the fire, some areas threatened with evacuation}—they’re labeled with the highest rating—Hazardous!

Sex and beans; dead fire

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Hey, I got the show notes done a day early!:

Hungry Vegan blogger Gail Davis on why vegan food is better than sex; Beanfields Chips, a “Vegan on Purpose” company

In this episode, Hungry Vegan blogger and author Gail Davis shares her vegan transformation story, talks about her love affair with compassionate food, and demonstrates how to incorporate green cuisine into your busy lifestyle.

And the family behind the Beanfields bean and rice chips company, talks to us about the role social responsibility plays in their family business, and how they came up with their award-winning vegan nacho chips.

And, of course, we highlight the latest News from the Vegan Frontier, let you know about vegan related happenings in and around Central Oregon, and more!

Also today: My step-son’s Kindle Fire died and could not be resuscitated. I can’t believe how quick and easy it was to call Amazon and run through a couple of troubleshooting steps: they’re sending a replacement to be here in two days. I wonder if he would notice if I nabbed the brand new one for myself? (Mine has that low volume issue.) Hmm, I should call about that one of these days.

Reading my (old) Kindle in the bath

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So after last night’s blog post, I got brave and fixed up my older Kindle with a couple of large ziplock bags and read it in the bath last night. It worked pretty well, although the plastic was uncomfortable to hold as it made my hands sweaty, so I kept trying to awkwardly hold it with a washcloth. Also, I double-bagged it with the second bag up-side-down, so it was a bit bulky. I think ideally there would be a way to secure the Kindle on a tray that swings across the top of the bath of something, so it could be hands-free, except for page turning. 

I would never try this with my newer Kindle Fire, because it’s just not worth the risk. Every once in a while I put my Fire on its stand next to the bath, set very far back. I’m lucky that my tub has a big lip and a wide tile shelf all the way around, so it’s pretty safe that way. Unfortunately, the speakers in my Fire suck badly, so I can’t watch a movie without headphones, otherwise it would be a good option for that. This is a serious flaw that I heard a lot of people complaining about when the Fire first came out. I don’t know if the problem ever got addressed—it seems to differ from Kindle to Kindle—even in this house. The kids don’t have a problem with the volume on their Kindle Fires when watching videos, etc. I almost wish I had complained to Amazon.com right after purchasing it and asked for a replacement. Oh well. I’m still very grateful to have it.

Crisitunity!

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Well my gut feeling was right. But I’m trying to look at it as a crisitunity, a la Homer Simpson.

The twins made it through their first week at the magnet school. Also, the WordPress app is now available for the Fire, which is cool {no spell check, though. What’s up with that?}. Gotta celebrate the good things.

Awkward or boring? Family game night…

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Hmm. As you know, I’m a fan of Awkward Family Photos, but I wonder if this is any fun to play? What happens when you get tired of the photos—drag out your own family’s photo albums?

It couldn’t be any worse than the game I picked out for the family last month: Wits and Wagers. It looked good, had a “Mensa” award on it, had all these 4 star reviews on Amazon.com… and we’re very unimpressed. We tried it once, and nobody has wanted to play it again. We seriously thought about re-gifting it in one of the white elephant exchanges over Christmas, but I wanted to wait and give it one more chance, since we paid good money for it, dammit!

Tonight we played Life on the Kindle Fire by passing one of the Fires around. It was a fun alternative to the same old board game. It’s hard to find family games that will work for 11-year-olds, a 15-year-old, and two {somewhat cynical} adults.

Check out these two creative gifts I received for my Kindle Fire

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Kindle Cover

Homemade Kindle Fire cover

Yesterday I received two creative gifts for my Kindle Fire!

First, I was given a hand-made cover/case that the kids’ grandma helped them sew. It has heavy-duty foam inside the front and back flaps for protection, a pouch and elastic to hold the Kindle snugly inside, and strong velcro to keep the case closed. It also has an inside pocket to hold a screen cloth, or even my phone in a pinch. The material they chose for mine is a thick black and grey pattern, which is just right for me.

Kindle Stand with Kindle Fire

Hand-crafted Kindle Fire stand

The second is a hand-made Kindle stand for around the house. My hubby had made a prototype a few weeks ago out of old scraps of shelving, and wanted to streamline the design. So he did, and prepped the individual pieces for us. Then we were each able to cover our own pieces with decorative paper. I happened to have this thick paper sitting around for years that I love but had never found a use for. It looks great.

I love that my family came up with these, a perfect blend of geek plus craft. Can anybody say, Etsy?!

Kindle Fire cover - open

Kindle Fire cover

Kindle Fire stand

Kindle Fire stand - streamlined

Kindle Fire stand prototype

Kindle Fire stand prototype

My favorite gift

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I wanted to photograph and describe the two incredibly creative Kindle Fire related gifts I got today from my family.  But, it’s getting late, and that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today, we did a little vegan home cooking (coffee cake, scramble, Field Roast fig roast, green beans, and potatoes and veggies in the dutch oven), but nothing like the copious hours we spent on Thanksgiving. We also worked on projects, puzzles, and books, keeping our Words with Friends games going as well. I got a good chunk of Blackout started, and hope to get through it this week and on to the sequel (which is currently lost somewhere in this house—I trust that I’ll find it in time). Tonight we watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I would have preferred to watch Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but we ran out of time and I hopefully we’ll be watching that one tomorrow.

We had a pretty modest gift giving Christmas (our Kindle Fires were a rare splurge, and the Kindle Fires for the kids were the big presents from relatives on their mom’s side—yes, there’s a whole lot of Fire going on in this house at the moment, and one kid hasn’t even gotten his yet!) I’m sure glad we switched away from a carrier with a bandwidth cap last spring). My favorite gift that I was able to give is a copy of Vegan Diner that the author, Julie Hasson, graciously signed for me at Portland VegFest in September. She didn’t just sign it, but wrote a very thoughtful note to my step-daughter, who likes to cook out of the book and loves to cook and bake in general. I’ve had it for months and it was so fun to give it to my step-daughter today.