Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Baby Squirrel

Through Craigslist, I've found a new helper for baby squirrel. As much as I love baby animals, trying to raise them surrounded by cats is hard. At some point you have to say that as much as you care about them, you are not the optimum person to raise them.

I'll be following his new home, and hope he is doing well. Pix to follow.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

OMG cute like Koolaid

Another baby squirrel.

This one not so chewed up. And me with antibiotics. So he has lived for more than a couple of days.

I took him to the vet- a couple of them- no help whatsoever. One of the interns thought he was a dog!

I breastfed my kids, so I know how effin cute that is. This is a very close second. I have pixs, and will post them soon.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Adopt an Olive Tree?

What a clever idea! At NUDO, you can 'adopt' an Olive Tree and then receive Olive Oil from that tree throughout the year. Since it ships from overseas, I have no idea how the pricing works out, but what a great idea. If the deal included cured olives, it'd be hard for me to resist.

Seeing their website made me think it's a good time to remind people to check around in their area for a CSA community-supported agriculture) farm to join/support. For a modest monthly or yearly fee you'll get fresh, local produce and be supporting your local farmers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Michael Vick and the Eagles? FAIL

Well, I had previously been wondering what kind of loser team would even CONSIDER signing on Michael Vick. I mean who wants a dog-hating, animal abusing, LIAR who thinks animal cruelty is fun? Not to mention his little habit of committing state and federal crimes, and taking illegal drugs?

Well, now we know! The losing team is the Philadelphia Eagles. I wonder how his poor teammates feel, knowing that the most-hated man in sports is on their team now? They can't all be dog-haters, can they?

Michael Vick- FAIL
Philadelphia Eagles- FAIL



Yeah, HERPES. Seems like one of great social things Michael Vick has done is to pass along a social disease. Herpes- the gift that keeps on giving! Michael Vick gave his college ex-girlfriend Herpes, and she sued him in civil court. They setttled for an undisclosed sum. I don't recall him denying it. So I guess that while Vick was all for torturing dogs, he's against wearing condoms. Priorities. Tip to Vick's new Eagles teammates- don't share straws with Vick.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009



I understand, that like all sports, money is the end-all-be-all. At the same time, though, it does involve people playing sports, and it seems like who is on your team might be pretty important. It isn't likely that your team will do well if one of your teammates was openly having an affair with your wife. It would probably bring your morale down a bit.

Is it really possible that no football players in the NFL have disgust for Michael Vick? Is there really not a chance that having him on your team would lower morale?

Why is Michael Vick still in the NFL pool anyway? Are there really not enough talented players in all of the US that one of them could replace him?


Well, that's what a lot of NFL lovers and animal haters like to keep saying. But it's true. He has done the pathetically minimum he had to based on our current justice system. He also no doubt did less than a non-celebrity would have. What people forget is that paying your debt to society does not mean that society OWES YOU. It doesn't mean people forget and that you get automatically put right back where you tumbled down from. Society does not have an obligation to treat any person a certain way just because they were FORCED to serve time for their criminal actions. Pedophile preschool teachers do not get their teaching jobs back once they're out of prison. Society does not owe any ex-criminal anything.


Michael Vick is a liar.

He lied to everyone in the NFL about his criminal activities. When asked point blank, he lied. In the press he lied and tried to put all the blame on his family and friends. He lied in court, to the judge. Who would want a liar on the team?

Michael Vick has proven he is a long-term criminal.

He enthusiastically participated in multiple state and federally illegal activities for at least 6 years. He bought property for the explicit reason to commit crimes. While on probabtion, he again committed a crime by using illegal drugs. Who would want a long-term criminal and illegal drug user on their team?

Michael Vick is a cruel and heartless dog-hater.

I have seen the pictures of where Vick's dogs were kennelled (ugh), chained and fought. Pics here Not exactly luxury accomodations for 60 plus unlucky dogs. He mistreated, starved, fought and killed numerous dogs, all so that he could get entertainment watching their misery. And, he BET on their lives. He beat, electrocuted, hung, shot and drowned dogs for their misfortune in having lost a fight or not being able to be forced to be aggressive enough. He used 'FAMILY PETS' as bait while training those dogs, and laughed while they were being attacked. He enjoyed watching animals, even his own animals, be injured and maimed- for fun! Who would want to play ball with a person like that on their team?


Actually, he was forced to in court. But he managed to fuck that up with criminality, too. He illegally took the funds to pay the fine and the poor dog's care out of his own employee's RETIREMENT funds. Which is illegal. Which is now being contested by bankruptcy court. Do you want a teammate who has to be forced to abide by the rules?


Not likely. More likely that he just wants his multi-million over-priced salary back. Check out his answers on an animal assessment questionaire. He thinks chickens are 'athletic'? Is he going to venture into cock-fighting now? It is sad that a few years of college didn't improve his 3rd grade ability to read and write. Even sadder that he was in college at all. Kudos to whoever was doing his homework and tests for him, and whoever was bribing the college. Do you want to be the team he disgraces next? Because there will be another disgrace. If he's changed so much, a good way to prove it would be to donate his first year's salary to a group offering free spay and neutering. Research shows that the majority of people convicted for child abuse or domestic abuse also abused animals. Research also shows that people who abuse children, their spouses or animals rarely stop, even after incarceration.


No, people just generally don't like liars, cheaters, animal abusers/torturers/killers and overall asshole people. People don't like it when they feel played. They don't like it when criminals have no remorse for things they've done, other than the boo-hoo loss of money. People don't like celebrities who think their shit doesn't stink, and that they shouldn't have to pay for their crimes like the common folk. People don't like people who have entitlement disorders, who think the world owes them something for being so 'special', without taking responsibility for their own actions. In fact, people don't like it when criminals claim the problem is racism (or sexism or ageism or anti-pedophilism) instead of the problem being that they just can't go by societal rules. And they especially don't like it when minorities of any colour/sex/whatever embarrass them by being criminals.

And most of all, people generally don't like assholes who enjoy causing pain and death to animals. For fun! Would you want a person like that on your team?

I look forward to seeing who signs Vick. Because as stupid as it is, some team will. I'll enjoy watching them lose. What would be really entertaining would be if some of the team-members resigned in protest. Now THAT would be a victory for the animals.

Monday, August 10, 2009

It's All Good- Veggie Chick’n Breasts in Tomato Tuscan Marinade Review

Yay, VvonV cooked dinner last night!
He made some "It's All Good" faux chicken breasts, corn on the cob and stewed beans.

I wish he'd have given me time to take a few pictures of it before we dug in, because it looked very pretty. According to him, he cooked the faux chick'n according to the package, and then topped it with sauteed onions, sweet red peppers and cherry tomatoes- with a splash of white wine. He scarfed his so quick I doubt he tasted it. We'll have to work on that...

It's been almost 24 years since I've had chicken, so I have no clue as to how close it is to the real thing. It is one of the first larger 'breast' sized analogs that seemed to get the texture right. That seems to be important to people who are just starting a vegetarian diet.

I will be writing a more in-depth review (and making it again so we have pictures) on vegan-o-rama, so look for that there.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baby Squirrel

Baby Squirrel - Tell me this is not the cutest thing you have ever seen!

Earwig brought this little guy into the house Friday night. It was windy here the last few days, so I imagine he fell out of one of the palm trees. No mama around- no siblings. He was screaming bloody murder! He was so much smaller than these pictures look- just a couple of inches long. I wrapped him up in a warm towel while I looked up on the internet about how to take care of him. We don't have the best wildlife rehabilitation places here (they tend to look down on 'common' species in favour of raptors and things like that), and they never answer on the weekends, so I knew I was going to be going it alone at least until Monday.

According to several websites, he appeared to be a Red Squirrel, and was about 2-3 weeks old. He was in pretty good shape, not dehydrated at all. I followed all the instructions to a tee- cleaned him, kept him warm, gave him pedialite at first, and then a diluted puppy formula at the required intervals. He drank a bit, slept a bit, and peed and pooped a bit- all of which he was supposed to do. I was very proud of him. Most of the time VvonV and I just stared at him, because he was as cute as a bug's butt. His little hands and feet were so delicate, but intricate, and pretty strong. This kept up all Friday night, Saturday, and Saturday evening. He yawned and stretched and slept and made grumbly noises. I was looking forward to being able to show him to the boys.

Sadly, last night he took a turn for the worse. He became lethargic and unresponsive, and finally died. So sad. What a little scrapper he was. VvonV and I were just grateful we'd been able to see how beautiful he was even if it was for such a short time.

The only thing I did not have was antibiotics for him, and many of the sites mentioned that organisms from cats can kill squirrels. All I had to use was Grapefruit seed oil for the cuts. You can see in the photos that he had some lacerations. I need to keep emergency amoxicillin on hand or things like this.

This Is Earwig- He's an albino Siamese Ginger.

I can't really be mad at him. It's not every day baby squirrels fall out of the sky right at your feet. He let us know in Siamese that he wasn't happy at having his gift from the heavens taken away from him.
Poor little squirrel.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hotel for Dogs - Movie Review

Against my better judgement, I watched "Hotel for Dogs" last night.

Now, when I say, 'against my better judgement', I mean that I don't ordinarily watch movies for kids. But being that I share custody of 2 boys, I have to watch kid movies when they are here. Which generally suck.

Suprisingly, this movie didn't.

Yes, it had a generic formula, and I already knew the outcome before the ending, but, it was sweet, it was PG, and it found a way to link the treatment of animals in shelters with the treatment of children in foster home situations. I have experience with both, and they dealt with it in a non-realistic but positive way. My 11 and 9 year old boys both liked it.

It's a non-offensive movie that's hard not to like.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lose Weight with White Tea

Seems like things really do come in threes. I've come across 2 different easy ways to kind of 'passively' lose weight recently. Can't wait for the third to show up! This second one is based on recent studies that showed that drinking White Tea daily can help you not just lose weight, but keep fat off- AND reduce fat you've already stored. The weight loss part probably has to do with the small amount of caffeine in it, but the other ingredients supposedly inhibit and reduce fat.

So, since I have a larger waistline than I'd like, I'm going to try this one, too. It helps that I already like and drink tea.

Here's a link to the article about White Tea-

Easy Weight Loss with Vegetable Juice

Losing weight just by drinking 8oz of vegetable juice a day seems pretty silly, but new research has shown that doing just that can triple your actual weight loss. Of course, I like this idea because I already love V8 vegetable juice, as well as the Knudsen Very Veggie vegetable juice. For some reason I just always forget to buy it. This is a good reason to remember!

As a long-term vegetarian, I'm not overweight. More, that because of having two children, I've had a hard time losing weight in my waist. I know I'll never have a 22 inch waist again, but it would be nice to go down a couple of inches. Having Fibromyalgia doesn't help, because it lowers your metabolism, and for some people like myself, over-exercise makes you feel worse.

I'm going to try to add in that extra cup of vegetable juice a day for a couple of months and see what happens. Why don't you try it, too?
Here's a link to an article I have written giving tips on how to incorporate that extra veggie juice into your daily schedule.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Dog Movies

Tonight I watched 'Marley and Me' with the boys for about the 3rd time. At 2AM. What the heck, they're on summer vacation, right?

What a sad movie. The kids think it's funny, but it makes me think of Patty when she was old. She was such a brat when she was young, and then when she was old she was so good with the kids. She used to eat the Cheerios that got stuck in the top of the kid's diapers.

Another good movie is 'The Year of the Dog'. It's sad, too, but it also touches on animal rights and vegetarianism. If you like dogs, watch these movies.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

This is Grif with a sparkler. Wow, things have changed. The new sparklers are more like flares or torches. And they don't have that yummy sulphur smell like they used to. It's the first time in 3 years that I've had the boys on the 4th of July- somehow the custody schedule has always ended up the opposite- so it was really fun. We're all pyromaniacs, so we really went to town. We lit all kinds of things on fire!

Striped Beetle Bug

What do you think of this big guy? He's about an inch and a half long, and he's got huge moose antlers. Some people call these beetles June Bugs, but we've always called the little bronze beetles June Bugs. We've always called these guys 'Hissing Beetles', because the entire time they're doing anything they make a peculiar noise that sounds like they are cussing you out. Grif found this guy in the kitchen. Isn't he cute? Gryphon took this picture, while Zephyr was cringing in the office. He doesn't like grabby bugs as much as Grif and I do.

Product Review- Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips

I made vegan Fajitas for the boys tonight. Pretty simple, just Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips and sauteed sliced red and green Bell Peppers and onions. Served on Corn Tortillas with soy cheese, Romaine lettuce and Avocados. Grif said it was one of the best dinners I've ever made- he ate 4 of them.

I started with a package of Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips. I used half a package, but my guess is that a full package would feed four people depending on how it was used. I cut the strips a little thinner for the fajitas. I then tossed them in a mix of 2 tablespoons of flour, and 1/4 teaspoon of Onion powder, Garlic powder, paprika and poultry seasonings as well as a tad of flaked chili. The Product is supposedly already seasoned.
I then tried to fry the strips in a couple of teaspoons of corn oil. They really didn't brown, but after a while it looked like they were as brown as they were going to get. When I tasted them, they were hard and chewy. So, after I cooked the other veggies, I added them back in and tossed a splash of white wine in. This somehow softened them back up. Pooh. I was wanting crispy non-chicken fajitas.

While I did not personally like or dislike them, my children did. While they were supposedly already seasoned, even with my added seasonings they were still bland.

I think they have potential. Tomorrow I'll try to make corned beef hash with the leftovers.

Just don't fry them, I guess.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Black Salt

Well the boys are back, so our mango supply has diminished greatly. I wanted to know what they thought of my new Black Salt, so I put the tiniest dust of a taste on their tongues. Both of them immediately made a sour face and said EWWWW! I asked each of them separately what they thought it tasted like, and surprisingly both said 'popcorn'. Popcorn?
I'm not a fan of popcorn because I hate those crunchy little hard kernel bits in it. But if you're a popcorn fan, I'm guessing that sprinkling a teensy bit of Black Salt on your popcorn might make it more 'popcorn-y' tasting.

This as about the cheapest I've seen online, at $3.49. The shipping isn't cheap, but it averages out pretty good, especially if you don't have an Indian Grocery store nearby.
Click here
Black Salt (Kala Namak) 7oz

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Black Salt - Kala Namak

Yay! I have finally found some Black Salt, or Kala Namak.

It's an earth salt- a volcanic salt, rather than a sea salt. And it's not black at all, it's a peachy beige colour. It was only $2.49 for 7oz.

I was so looking forward to this. I opened the bag and sniffed- nothing. Sigh. So I licked a finger and stuck it in. WHOAH! I have not eaten eggs for 24 years, yet I immediately recognized the taste- yolks from hard-boiled eggs.

It was easy to give up eggs. I never really liked them without dressing them up. But I really understand why some of the Indian websites say they use it as an appetizer, because I can't stop tasting it. I haven't even cooked with it yet! Maybe as a vegan I just haven't been getting enough sulphur? Who knows? All I know is that this stuff is good. I have a feeling I might not like it in cooked food, since I've never liked eggs, but I intend to try to make a vegan omelette and a quiche with it and test it out on my neighbors. I'll let you know how it goes. Buy some Black Salt.

Click here
Black Salt (Kala Namak) 7oz

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

India Sweet and Spices Fresno Vegetarian Review

I don't know what the deal is- am I just on an Indian food bent, or is it maybe that other than the two dedicated vegetarian restaurants in Fresno, Au Lac in the Tower District and New Stars on the North side (, there just aren't any vegetarian restaurants in Fresno?

Anyway, I recently went to India Sweet and Spices looking for some Indian Black Salt, or Kala Namak (more on that in a later blog), but ended up getting food to go. The place looks so much better than it did the last time I was there- the dining area is pretty nice now. It's a deli/restauarant/store located in a kind of neglected strip mall on Ashlan and West. After ordering, I wandered around for a while... there's so much to see and smell in ethnic stores. I ended up buying some incense, a box of mangoes and the Black salt as well as the food.
Here's what I ordered-

Aloo Gobi - $8
Rice - $5
Masala Dosa - $4
Aloo Prantha - I think they forgot to charge for this
Samosas - $9 (3x $3)
Essentially, the bill came to about $26.

The samosas were good, but I'm not sure about the $3 each price - seems a bit high. I ate one in the store with my favourite spicy mint sauce, but sadly that sauce was not included in my to-go.

I have no idea how the Masala Dosa was, as VvonV ate it all. The Aloo Gobi, with potatoes and cauliflower was good, though. Neither VvonV or myself were fond of the rice, even though there was a lot of it, and it had onions and spices in it. It just had the wrong texture and was oily. There were 2 pranthas, and they were good, though not as spicy as I'd like. As you can see in the first picture, there was a lot of food.
In the second picture you can see that there were three sauces- a slightly spicy, a sweet, a (maybe weak) coconut and a yogurt. I don't do yogurt unless it's vegan, but there was a lot of it, so the cats and Miss Mags got a treat. There was also a sambar soup included with the Dosa. It was a lot of food, and there's tons of leftovers.
Fit the rules- Knew what vegetarian was, knew what vegan was. Large portions. Completely vegetarian. Fairly inexpensive.
Didn't fit the rules- They need to change their to-go packaging away from styrofoam.
All in all, a recommend for takeaway.


Ok, so I forgot to take the mangoes I bought at India Sweet and Spices home, so I had to go back for them another day. Fibromyalgia brain-fog or something.

The good news is, I now have mangoes. And aren't they pretty? They look like Easter Eggs.

They cost $10 for 11 of them. You'll note in the picture that there are only 8. That's because Vvonv and I tore into them and ate 3 within 10 minutes of getting them home. I love the camphor taste of mangoes. We'll see how long they last when the boys are back tomorrow.

While driving to pick them up, several things caught my eye. It seems like every time I drive, within a couple of blocks I see one of those nasty plastic bags scurrying across the road. Jeez I hate those bags and litterers. Then I drove past a ponding basin and saw geese and coots and a heron and some beautiful white egrets. I wonder if anyone else ever sees them? Are they too busy in their cars? And how sad is it that the only place these birds have to go now is artificial ponding basins?

Then, I saw the cutest thing- some kind of skippy-hoppy-jumpy rodent ratty-mousy thing bouncing across the road. He hopped across the road and disappeared into the railroad tracks. He was a brave and bouncy ratty thing, and it's one of the cutest things I've seen in a long time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Quick Vegan Lunch

This was lunch today.
Browned potatoes with onions, red and green bell peppers, garlic and basil and avocado salad and apples.

You are probably wondering- why does she have tomato juice in a wine glass?

In short, because sometimes I feel the need to trick my kids. People often have REAL dislikes in food. I hate mushrooms. No two ways about it. I have tried every kind in every way, and I just don't like them. Sad, for a vegan. I cook with them, though, and pick around them when I eat because I know everyone else loves them. And they are fun to cook with.

Zephyr does NOT like tomato juice. Or avocados. At least he thinks he doesn't. For some reason both he and Gryphon will drink anything if it's in a real wine glass. Therefore, the wine glass. I also mixed the avocado with Wildwood's Garlic Aoli and lime juice, both of which he likes, so he ate the avocado. Kind of like how yesterday I made 'milkshakes' for the boys- both boys claim to not like soy ice cream, and Zephyr has decided he doesn't like bananas. But when I mixed soy ice cream with a banana, orange juice, soymilk and coconut powder, both boys ate it up. It's more important to me to have them eat a variety of healthy foods than to cater to their tastes.

Grasshopper? Locust?

Who knows? I'm no expert on the jumpy kind of bugs.
VvonV just found this little guy inside his baseball cap, IN our bedroom!
No idea how he got there. If you click on the picture for a closeup, he has really pretty markings.
We put him out in the front yard by the big pond and told him to eat some of our plants. Hopefully he has a chance to do that before a bird eats him.
I like bugs. Always have. I like spiders, too. I've always thought it funny that people like my Mom, who hate certain types of bugs always have more of them. Karma, I guess. She hates snails and Japanese Beetles. They decimate her garden and roses. So she sprays and poisons, blah blah. I, on the other hand, never spray, never poison. I have snails and Japanese Beetles, but they don't decimate my garden. Sometimes there's some nibbling going on, but I'm ok with that. I'm not perfect and I don't expect my garden to look perfect. It could be that all that spraying and poisoning is killing all her frogs/toads. She has a pond, but no frogs/toads. Frogs and toads eat up a lot of unwanted bugs like snails and beetles.
Who knows? I'm just glad to see a grasshopper or a locust, because there really just aren't as many out there as there were when I was a kid. I'd love to see a Praying Mantis, but that's probably asking too much.

Fresno Vegetarian North India Bar and Grill Review

North India Bar and Grill
80 W. Shaw
Clovis, CA 93612

Not sure if it's fair to review a restaurant I haven't gone to, but here goes.

My friend Mark came over last night and brought take-out food he got from the North India Bar and Grill. It isn't actually in Fresno, it's in Clovis.
He also brought me their menu. Since he paid for it, I have no idea how much the total was.
This is what he bought-

Pappad - $2
Samosa - $4
Daal Makhani - $8
Chana Masala - $8
Aloo Gobi - $9
Sabji - $8
Garlic Naan - $3
Spinach Pratha - $3

There was also rice, but I can't tell from the menu whether it was included in one of the dishes or ordered separately.

I'm no math genius, but it appears he spent about $45. This was to feed 3 adults and 2 children- which it did, with leftovers.

All of what he ordered was supposedly vegetarian. From my end, it was good, though I wasn't feeling well and only bite-tasted a few things. I did eat a samosa and a pratha. Not really spicy or 'standoutish', but good. They seem to know what vegetarian food is. But, if I went by my gut, I'd guess it was actually just vegetarian, and that there was ghee involved. Just a guess. I prefer vegan.

I can't really rate the by the rules, because I did not go there personally.

Looking at the lunch and dinner menu provided to me by Mark, the majority of dishes are not vegetarian or vegan, although they have a large selection of that. They actually have more dishes of fish, calamari, lamb, chicken, mutton, and seafood than they do vegetarian foods.
Many other Fresno Indian restaurants have a more vegetarian balance to their menu.

While I recommend this restaurant for anyone looking for vegetarian options, I won't personally go there. Because Mark has been vegetarian for over 15 years, I trust that what he ordered was vegetarian. But because there are so many other more vegetarian-friendly Indian restaurants in Fresno, I just wouldn't go there. I'd go to Mehek Punjab de on west Shaw. They're completely vegetarian, so you don't have to wonder if your food got cooked on a grill right after the 'lamb'. Ack.

So, ok vegetarian food, but not a really 100% recommend.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Camera - Nikon Coolpix S560

Well, I finally broke down and bought a new digital Camera. Not that I wanted to buy a new one, but my 5- year old Olympus -60 finally halfway bought the dust. Meaning that the lens only seems to want to extend/retract half the time. I did that DIY kind of thing where you whack it kind of hard to set it straight, and some little metal rod came out of the camera. Boo. I must admit I am hard on my toys. I'm clumsy and not always careful. And I have two boys who are even harder on toys- so it's amazing that camera worked as long as it did. Also, it was all stainless and pretty, and had a 'slider' lens cover that I really liked. Oh, and it took good pix. I preferred to stay with Olympus because I have the accessories, but I just couldn't justify the price considering how hard things are with my mortgage right now. So, after looking at Best Buy (Comp USA is gone now), I did the right thing and bought a camera from our locally owned camera shop, Boots. If you ever need parts for a camera from 50-80 years ago, they are definitely the place.

Anyway, VvonV and myself finally narrowed it down to the Nikon Coolpix S560. I'd been a little turned off by all those annoying ads by Ashton, but this camera is the bare bones- no trendy little useless blings.

I just need my camera to take decent pictures. I don't need bells and whistles. In fact, I rather despise bells and whistles. This one is a 5x zoom, which is ok. A 7x zoom would have been nice. And, it was petty, but they only had black. I tend to choose silver or stainless in almost anything I buy- it just looks cleaner. So far it seems servicable. And easy to use. I passed over several cameras that seemed like I'd have to get a degree to use them. I'll post pix later of my first attempts with it to capture food pix.

One drawback, for me, was that it came with a 'free' leather case. Everybody knows nothing is free, and that the case was built into the $169.00 price. I'd prefer not to subsidise some leather factory. Why not issue the camera with a 15-20 dollar credit towards the case of your choice? As it is, I ended up having to buy a separate faux leather case for about $15. Oh, and the camera doesn't come with a memory card, so you'll have to buy one. A 2-gig cost me about $15. Prices really have come down. If I recall correctly, my beloved Olympus cost almost $500.

I tend to become fond of things. I don't like consumerism, and planned obsolescence drives me crazy. It would have cost more to fix my old Olympus than to buy a new camera. That's just full of crazy. Oh, well. The old Olympus still semi-works, so it'll be ok for the kids to use, and if worse comes to worse, we can take it apart and see how digital cameras are made.

We'll see how my future pictures on this blog, my other blog, my webpage and my eHow articles look. That's really the only test.

Tofutti Bagel Sandwich

Yeah, I know there are some people who really hate Tofutti. But compared to the alternative, I think it's ok. Not my favourite, but VvonV and the boys like it- and the important thing is that anywhere I've taken it- nonvegans have liked it. It has it's place.

VvonV comes home for lunch every day. He's lucky that way- so many people can't. This is really easy to make. Vegan bagels from Trader Joe's, Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese, tomatoes, avocados, romaine lettuce and a chiffonade of fresh basil topped with a little chopped garlic.
Not rocket science, but still good. Yes, that is kind of a 'jam jar' in this picture. Every once in a while our local Long's has a sale on some jarred fruit (with no added sugar) that's about 99 cents. I buy them then, because the fruit is good, and we use the jars as juice glasses. I'll choose glass over plastic any day.

Anyway- let me know what you think of this picture from my new camera.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fish One

It has become apparent that Fish One is not pregnant as I'd hoped. In fact, research has shown to me that Koi don't ever get 'pregnant'. They aren't live bearers. But she could have been a bit puffy-looking if she'd had some developing eggs inside her.

I'm pretty sure now that she doesn't. I think she has what's called 'dropsy' or 'bloat' or 'pine-cone' syndrome. She pretty much looks like a pine-cone now. Oh, it's also called the Milawi Bloat, even though the poor thing's never been to Milawi. Luckily her siblings look ok.

As far as I can tell, there's not much I can do. I've cleaned the pond and filter, added some alfalfa granules and doused the pond with tea tree oil. I might need to add some salt to the pond.

I hope she pulls through- she's lasted longer than any of the info I've read said she should have.

Crossing my fingers.

Oh, by the way- the frogs/toads are in full force. I can't ever keep them straight because I always heard toads will drown in water, and frogs will die without water. But my toad/frogs seem to like both. They are just the cutest-ugliest things.


Climate change

Just a note here-

Once again, things aren't right. It's June, but the Junebugs that used to appear in May are nowhere to be found. Not a one.

And the lacewings that used to literally litter my windowsills in Junes past are nowhere to be seen.

Yesterday there were at least 11 honeybees that we rescued from the pool. I've never had honeybees in my pool. Are they all committing suicide?

Butterflies? None. Ladybugs? None.

Something is going on, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fresno Vegetarian Mangosteen Review

VvonV and I went to Mehek Punjab de last week. I think it was the third time we'd been there. Alas, I still have not bought a new digital camera, so no pix. Maybe next time.

Mehek Punjab de
Time Square
3173 W. Shaw Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711

This completely vegetarian Indian restaurant is located near Shaw and Marks, in a strip mall, right next to a Mexican restaurant I went to years ago and did not like. Plaza Vindetta or something like that.

It is a very clean-looking place, with typical Indian decor, and with part of the kitchen in plain view. There are large, dark wooden tables that worked for just the 2 of us, but would also work well for large parties.

They have an extensive vegetarian menu, and also seem to understand the difference between vegetarian and vegan. It was hard choosing, but this is what we ordered-

1 Gol Gappe
2 Punjabi Samosa
2 Aloo Tikki
1 mixed Pakora
1 Special Mehek Punjab de Thali
1 Basmati Plain Rice
1 Masala Dosa
1 Punjabi Onion Prantha
1 Punjabi Masala Tea
1 Mango Shake

We weren't really sure what to do with the Gol Gappe, as they were puffed little balloons that came with a broth and some potatoes, but the waitress reassured us we were attempting to eat them correctly. I don't think we'll order them again. The 'Special' came with three curries, a small rice, yogurt raita, tapioca pearls and two papadam. Sambar soup might have come with that, or it might have come with something else we ordered. Or something like that- we had so much food it was hard to keep track. Overall, the food is very good, if not as spicy as I'd like. I ordered a spicy onion Prantha, and it wasn't really spicy at all, even though it was good.

All of the food was good- it was presented on minimalistic metal servers. The service was quick and pleasant, and water glasses were kept full. All in all, we got a ton of vegetarian food, enough to take home and have for a couple of meals over the next two days.

The tab for all that food, after tax but before tip was $31.04.

For anyone just wanting to try them out, I'd suggest ordering the Special at $7.25 if alone, and maybe ordering just an appetizer if for two- it really is a lot of food.

Fit the rules-
Had vegetarian or vegan food
Fresh ingredients
Clean place
Attentive staff
The servings were large

Did not fit the rules-
None. Staff knew what vegetarians or vegans eat, and knew the ingredients in the foods they were


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fresno Vegetarian Mr. Sushi Review

VvonV and I were looking for some place quick to eat yesterday before his band practice with Sparklejet (look them up on Google), and we decided we wanted something light, and an internet search suggested Mr. Sushi. It has been written up well in some local blogs.

724 E Olive AveFresno, CA 93728(559) 485-3978

The place looked very clean, but there wasn't a very cohesive decor/theme going on. I can overlook that if clean is abundant. It was about 6:15 on a Tuesday evening. Other that us, there was only one other patron.

There was an extensive menu, most of it not gearing towards vegetarians or vegans.
The waitress was pleasant, if not enthusiastic. She had a face piercing that was hard for me to not focus on. She did, however break 2 of my eating out rules-

Staff should know what is in their food
Staff should know what a vegetarian/vegan is

Her first suggestion on hearing we were vegetarian was a combo plate of vegetables, rice, miso soup, salad and gyozas. Problem being that the miso and gyozas were not vegetarian. They offered to give extra vegetables to make up for the miso and gyozas. She did ask the cook what was in what, after she said she had no clue- so we have to give her credit.

We ended up ordering this- An appetizer of tempura and one side of vegetables with rice, one sushi roll, and one dinner with vegetables, one small saki and hot tea. It ended up being that both of our vegetable dishes were exactly the same even though they had different names. And although VvonV's order should have had extra vegetables, it really didn't. And the variety of vegetables was slim. We were told the eggrolls were vegan, but we got the impression it was iffy, so we did not order them.

Although Mr. Sushi offers what looks like a million different sushi rolls, we were told there was only one for vegetarians- the avocado roll. Which is exactly what it was- rice, nori and avocado. Strange , since many of the other non-vegetarian rolls had vegetable ingredients that we were not offered. The dipping sauce given tasted like watered down soy sauce with a bit of sugar. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't memorable, and it did not take away from the fact thatg the nori was too chewy. I like pepper, but there was no pepper to be had. I had to ask for wasabi and some pickled ginger, which made it more palatable. The food was nice. Not good or great, but nice.

The tempura was ok- light and not too greasy. It would have been nice to have a flavourful sauce to dip them in, but it was the same watered down sugar soy sauce.

The saki was good. Hot saki is always good. The tea arrived in a large teapot, and was very good as well.

I would like to give the breakdown of what things cost, but I can't. Overall I can say that it cost about $35 before tip- I don't know because the cashier refused to give me the receipt that had the breakdown- I only got the end charge receipt.

Fit the rules-
Had vegetarian or vegan food
Fresh ingredients
Clean place
Moderately attentive staff
Fairly inexpensive
The servings were large

Did not fit the rules-
Staff did not know what vegetarians or vegans eat, and did not know the ingredients in the foods they were serving
Admission that at least one of their foods (the miso soup and the gyoza were pre-prepared and frozen elsewhere) were not made on site
Refusal to substitute or create new dishes even if paid extra for. There were many other items on the non-vegetarian menu that could have been added to our dishes, but were not. Those ingredients were onions, broccoli, yams and carrots and asparagus at the least.

I would rate this restaurant a 3 out of 5. There is not an extensive vegetarian/vegan offering, but the one vegetarian offering they have (the menu pretends there are more) was good. It tasted clean and fresh.

I will probaby not eat there again, but I will recommend the one dish that is vegetarian/vegan to others.



This is Muffaletta (aka Muffles).

She has to be one of the most unpretty cats that exist. She's a calico/tortoiseshell. She might not be pretty, but she has the sweetest personality in the world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Plastic Bottle Picnic

I went to a reward party for Z at a park.

Things I noticed-

Wow- children seem to not even notice when they leave their garbage around.
Parents send their children to school with tons of garbage as 'lunches'.
Almost every lunch included a drink that was in a plastic bottle.
Looking at the labels, most of the 'foods' had at least three different types of sugar as an ingredient.


Koi Fish

Eek, I started off today with a bruised eye socket and a split lip, all courtesy of one of the sizameezers- I think it was Earwig. Tripping over cats is not one of my favourite things.

That said, it is hard to tell if 'number one' fish is getting any better. I could be imagining that she doesn't look as swollen.

At first, I thought she might be pregnant. Do fish get 'pregnant'? Then an internet search implied that she might actually be suffering from 'pine cone syndrome'. For which there is supposedly no cure for.

Still, the negative optimist that I am, I doused the pond with Tea Tree Oil. It could be my imagination that fish ONE is getting better. Only time will tell.