Pictures of the Day: July 17 to 23rd

Jul. 24th, 2017 01:38 pm
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
The past week, in photos.

July 17th: I didn't have the materials I needed for work, so I spent the day doing laundry, vacuuming, and catching up on comic books.
July 17 2017




July 18th: Bento of the day - Egg and meat soboro over rice (I tried to twist the home-made pickled ginger into rosettes and failed miserably), carrot and burdock kinpira, quick-pickled cucumbers
Read more... )

(Work materials came in, so I didn't get to finish doing or folding laundry.)




July 19th: I didn't have time to do a full WIP Wednesday post, but look! I cast on for the Slow Fade socks again and have made a not-unreasonable amount of progress!
Read more... )




July 20th: Soooo, one thing that I do every week (usually Saturday or Sunday, before or after grocery shopping) is plan out the coming week in terms of meals. I don't always have lunch plans jotted down, other than the days that I hope to make a bento lunch for Daniel, but I usually make a point of planning out the dinners even if it's as vague as "pizza maybe" or "leftovers, perhaps?".
Read more... )
And then there are the days that I decide that I'm too hungry and tired after work to make anything, and so we go out to dinner. In this case, to Bonchon. I'd been planning on trying their Korean Fried Chicken lunch special, but last weekend we discovered that they are temporarily closed at lunch. Fortunately for me, the Korean Fried Chicken is available on their dinner menu as well!

Our server seemed surprised that Daniel enjoyed the pickled daikon side. I don't know why; it wasn't like it was particularly pungent, especially compared to various pickled daikon dishes I've made at home.




July 21st: I was actually too busy with work to take a REAL photo of the day, but I did reward myself for finishing my project on time by buying my first game on Steam: Dream Daddy, a romance simulation game that allows you to create your own "dadsona" and romance some dreamy dads!

July 21 2017, kinda

As of 7/24, I still haven't played the game. But I did boot up the game just long enough to marvel at all the character generation options. I had to stop once I got to the hair because I could see myself spending hours on just the character creator alone.




July 22nd: Niantic held the first ever Pokemon Go Fest in Bryant Park in Chicago. People at the actual event would have access to rare Pokemon and participate in challenges to catch as many Pokemon of specific types as they could, to unlock special bonuses for all players. Players not at the Pokemon Go Fest could still participate by catching as many Pokemon as possible during specific frames of time. If the participants were successful enough, they would unlock other challenges with benefits for all players, and it was heavily rumoured that one of those challenges would finally release Legendary Pokemon into the world of Pokemon Go...

We did not go to Bryant Park. Other people did, in some cases travelling great distances to do so. And apparently things did not go well. People stood in line for hours only to have difficulties connecting to the game servers; in the end, Niantic refunded everyone their entrance fee and gave them $100 worth of Pokecoins and gave them a complimentary Legendary Pokemon, Lugia, and I think they even extended the duration and location of the special Pokemon Go Pokestops.

Instead, Daniel and I went to Stir the Pot for our customary weekend brunch. This week's specials included pancake corn dogs and waffles topped with hashbrowns, bacon, sour cream, onion, and cheddar.
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And we drove down to West Haven Beach, where we joined dozens and dozens of Pokemon Go players (and regular beach-goers, and people getting married) in walking down the waterfront and venturing down on to the beach.

July 22 2017

July 22 2017

There were people flying massive kites - the manta ray-looking one was anchored to a solid-looking rig to keep it in place.

July 22 2017

We did stop around 3 PM for a late lunch/early dinner. I had fried softshell crab, and Daniel had a teriyaki chicken sandwich, because there are only so many non-seafood options to be had at a seaside restaurant.

We walked up and down the waterfront for another hour or so, and then we joined the MASSIVE crowd of Pokemon Go players who had gathered at a gym that was about to be visited by a Tier 4 Raid Boss. It was pretty exciting to hear people chanting and counting down in unison as the Tier 4 Egg was about to hatch...

July 22 2017

And then groaning when they discovered that it was a Lapras. (Most people were hoping for a Tyranitar or Dragonite, I think.)

I don't know how many people were there precisely, but Daniel and I ended up assigned to different 20-man teams so I'd guess there were 40-60 people there, if not more. I ended up unable to catch my Lapras, which was a little disappointing... but the experience of teaming up with so many excited strangers was definitely worth it. I'm hoping we'll find similar crowds the next time we go to the beach... hopefully we'll be visited by a legendary Pokemon! (We encountered multiple Articunos and at least one Lugia on Sunday, just driving around town. It was maddening, because Daniel and I can usually take on a Tier 3 Raid Boss, but anything more powerful than that is just an exercise in frustration.)

On our way home, we stopped at a Target and a Petco to pick up cat supplies. I wanted to get some Fortiflora (but couldn't find any, so I went with a different probiotic supplement in chew form) and we needed 9-volt batteries for the baby scale that we'd bought in an attempt to get a better idea of Chester and Tammy's weight (without having to go to the vet and spend hundreds of dollars).

Tammy's situation: not eating enough )




July 23rd: Daniel called the veterinary clinic as soon as the office was open, and was told that the earliest that a vet could see Tammy was 1 PM. (Which is when we had been planning to see The Big Sick with Daniel's parents.)

We got our grocery shopping out of the way and grabbed a quick breakfast/lunch before rounding up Tammy and taking her to the vet.

Both the vet (Dr. Willis) and the assistant cooed over Tammy's eyes, calling them hypnotic or mesmerizing. This doesn't have anything to do with her diagnosis; I just wanted to brag.

Since Tammy's blood work had been fine last month (and thyroid disease usually shows a gradual change in numbers rather than a sharp drop or rise), the vet opted to give her a general physical and x-ray and fecal analysis. As of July 24th, we have results and they can't find anything physically wrong with her. The one notable thing was that she has some dental issues including two absorptive (resorptive?) lesions, and those theoretically could be making her uncomfortable when she eats. We have made an appointment for dental work. In the meantime, the vet thinks that Tammy's issues could be emotional or psychological, and has encouraged us to use Feliway Multicat (with Cat Appeasing Pheromone).

She thought it was also possible that Tammy would benefit from not being kept out of the basement, and gave us some alternate foods to try feeding her that would be okay for Chester to eat as well. (e.g. dry kibble that's safe for cats with kidney disease)

For now, I think our plan is to use the Feliway and introduce some non-weight loss dry food to Tammy's diet, in the hopes of helping her gain her weight back.

After Tammy's vet appointment, we made a conscious decision to Do Things Other Than Fret About Cats, and went to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets in 3D. Maybe I was influenced by my knowledge that it was based on a popular graphic novel from Europe, but it gave me the same sort of vibe as Barbarella... it felt very 'adapted from several different issues of a graphic novel', and there were certain scenes where I idly wondered if the dialogue had worked better in the original French.

I loved the designs of the aliens and their environments. It's definitely a visual feast.

I had originally intended to buy myself some overpriced theatre candy as a treat, but I ended up ordering a fresh fruit mojito at Lucky Taco for dinner.

July 23 2017

They were out of strawberry, so I went with the watermelon which was actually quite good.

And so ended another busy week.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
By a strange coincidence, every Monday has found us (or at least, Daniel) driving to our vet. On Monday the 3rd, Chester had her follow-up appointment for her mystery eye goop (no cause found but her conjunctiva is looking good). On Monday the 17th, Chester got an ultrasound done to check on the status of her kidney disease and enlarged ureter. (good-ish news: kidney and ureter are still enlarged but the same size as the last time she got an ultrasound done, so her condition is not progressing too quickly. The vets want us to try out a kidney/renal diet for her, which involves less protein and less phosphorus which will take less of a toll on her healthier kidney. We had been working on getting her higher protein via canned food, so this has left me feeling decidedly mixed.)

Monday the 10th is when we picked up Pan's remains.

Read more... )

I couldn't bring myself to photograph the urn (which came to us in bubble-wrap, in a black paper bag). So the photo of the day for Monday the 10th is the bento I packed for Daniel's lunch that day.

June 10 2017




July 11: A while back, I installed an app called OpenCamera on my phone, because I wanted a camera app with a macro mode, maybe one that would let me fiddle with white balance, etc. And for a while I was pretty happy with it! But after my phone updated to Android 6.0, I noticed that the photos I was taking with OpenCamera were looking kind of... dark.

Comparison )

I dunno, man! Open Camera seems to be one of the best-rated free camera apps out there, but I'm not thrilled with how dark some of these photos are turning out. I can't find any comments on the Google Play store indicating that other people are having this issue (although I did find a post on StackOverflow complaining of dark photos when using the Camera2 API... I remember seeing Camera2 API mentioned in the release notes for Open Camera). I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Open Camera, and it doesn't seem to have helped.

I'm kind of torn between deleting Open Camera and holding onto it in the hopes that the next update will fix this issue.




July 12: Tammy kept me company on the couch as I took my WIP Wednesday photos.
Read more... )




July 13: Bento of the day: beef hamburg, cucumber asazuke (lightly pickled with salt and ginger), carrot pickles from the farmer's market, tamagoyaki
Read more... )




July 14: National Mac and Cheese Day! We got a macaroni and cheese pizza from our favorite pizza place (or... my favorite pizza place, anyways) and settled in for an evening watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in preparation for seeing War for the Planet of the Apes the next day. It turned out that I had forgotten a lot of the characters' names and a lot of the events of the movie as well.
Read more... )




July 15: We were going to get breakfast/brunch at our usual place, but Stir the Pot was unexpectedly closed. By sheer coincidence, the owner was there and was able to reassure us that it was just a plumbing issue (apparently one that was supposed to be fixed on Thursday, but acted up again on Saturday -- two of their busiest days) and that they'd be open the next day.

So we went to Cracker Barrel, where I drowned my sorrows in hashbrown casserole and biscuits with gravy.

And then we went to see War for the Planet of the Apes. (No post-credits scene.) We did some shopping but opted to save grocery shopping for Sunday so that we could get Blizzards at Dairy Queen and not worry about them melting in the car.

July 15 2017
(I applaud whoever drew that cute Spider-man on the sign and noted that he wasn't old enough to order any of his namesake drinks.)




July 16: Brunch at Stir the Pot! I was very excited to try out the Blueberry Bread French Toast (I'm not normally a huge French Toast fan, but this featured home-made blueberry bread and blueberry compote).

July 16 2017

The kielbasa Benedict was tricky to eat but also delicious.

After grocery shopping, I used up a bunch of cereal and hot sauces to make snack mix.

July 16 2017

This became our dinner.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's grey and overcast again, and I just discovered that my plans to have Kraft Mac and Cheese for National Macaroni and Cheese day have been sunk by a distinct lack of normal Mac and Cheese in the house. We do have a box of Pokemon Diamond/Pearl Mac and Cheese, TMNT Donatello Mac and Cheese, and Star Wars Mac and Cheese but:
1. I didn't necessarily buy these to eat, and
2. I am pretty sure that these are all several years past their Best Before date.

So I'm drowning my sorrows in tea and chocolate. Or chocolate-flavoured tea, anyways.

I think I bought Dark Chocolate Delight from the Davids Tea's big retiring tea clearance sale. I'm not sure when this tea was most recently offered by the stores; I'm seeing reviews that say it was part of the 2015 Advent Calendar and others that indicate that it was a regularly available tea. I can't find it anywhere on the US Davids Tea site, so I'm guessing it was retiring and then sold out online.

From the Canadian Davids Tea site, which still had this listed:
"dark side of the brew

What is it about dark chocolate? Its taste is sinfully decadent, but studies say it might actually be good for you. But wait – it gets better. Now you don’t even have to wait until dessert to get your fix. With this black tea blend, you can treat yourself anytime, anywhere. With cocoa shells, blueberries and big chunks of luscious dark chocolate, it’s a deliciously rich taste of our favourite indulgence. Welcome to the dark side…

ingredients
Black tea, spiced dark chocolate (cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, ancho chili, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, allspice, clove, chipotle chili, ground vanilla), blueberries, cocoa shells, natural chocolate flavouring."


One of my first DavidsTea purchases was a big bag of their Blueberry Jam black tea, and I'm a big fan of chocolate-covered fruit, so this sounds right up my alley. I brewed up some of the Chocolate Cake tea to compare, but I suspect it is an unfair comparison.

Dark Chocolate Delight has actual chunks of spicy dark chocolate in it. I thought they might be cacao nibs or cocoa shells or something, but I just fished one chunk out of the loose leaf tea and nibbled it and... yup, it's chocolate. Meanwhile, the Chocolate Cake tea has cocoa, white chocolate curls, and sprinkles. It's no contest, the Dark Chocolate Delight has a much better chocolate flavour.

The berries are kind of muted, and the sheer amount of actual chocolate in this thing means that it'll start to congeal as it cools down, and also it won't be great for re-steeping (since most of the chocolate will have melted into the first cup). I also wonder how this tea does in warmer climes; does the chocolate just melt into a lump at the bottom of the bag or tin?

I'll probably get another bag or two of this if it makes a return (and if the price is right... looks like I got this at $5.99 for 2 oz, which is a terrific deal).
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
hahaha

So, last week I was pondering whether I should put the Slow Fade socks aside for now and cast on for something simple to knit in bed, since I was making so little progress.

As it turns out, Knitty.com had released corrected patterns and charts for Slow Fade last month and I didn't notice, because I hadn't refreshed the page. So I ripped out all of my progress and I guess I'll be casting on for the Slow Fade socks again at some later date.

In happier news, I finished one sock and cast on for the second of the pair.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Schatzi socks by Shannon Okey from knitgrrl52
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne Fingering in Mt Tabor

I actually had to rip out the toe decreases because my pinkie-toe was feeling cramped. I knit the foot until my pinkie-toe was safely covered, then followed the pattern directions and decreased until I had 18 stitches per needle, then did one more decrease row. A perfect fit!

I can't remember whether I've made any significant progress on the Forest Ridge shawl, but I did get the WIP on my bigger circular cord so I could show off what it looks like now.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Forest Ridge by Mary Formo
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow Kettle Dyed in Pacific (probably)

I'm still working on the sleeves for the Lycka tee. The front of this tee has more lace and fewer interminable rows of stockinette stitch, so I might be able to finish it in time to wear this summer, who knows?

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Lycka by Stefanie Schuster
Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin in Blackberry

The Wolkig cowl is coming along slowly. I'm starting to get concerned that this cowl is going to be TOO long (I'd guess that it's somewhere between 10" and 12" in height right now?) but it does scrunch down, so I guess it's not that big of an issue. I'll keeping knitting until the yarn runs out, just as the pattern says.

WIP Wednesday
Pattern: Wolkig by Martina Behm
Yarn: The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller in Winchester Mystery House

And finally, I have again forgotten to photograph the Conundrum shawl/scarf. It's probably just as well, since the last thing I remember about it is sitting in the vet waiting room, ripping out several rows because I'd made a mistake.
twotone: A toy figure in a penguin costume is dismayed. It stands next to a mug with a penguin illustration and a broken handle. (Default)
[personal profile] twotone
It's kind of gray and gloomy and overcast this morning, but I'm hoping that the sun will come out.

(UPDATE: hahaha nope, there was a severe weather/thunderstorm/hail warning around 1 PM and it's been raining pretty hard since 2, with a few bouts of thunderstorms.)

Today, I'm trying out an herbal tea sample from Davids Tea.

I was curious as to how the Frozen Raspberry Herbal differed from the Blackberry Blizzard Herbal, since both of them are berry + creamy yogurt herbal tisanes. So I compared a freshly brewed cup of Frozen Raspberry Herbal (poured over ice) and some Blackberry Blizzard that I've cold-brewed in the fridge overnight. And...

1. Blackberry Blizzard is pale pink.
Frozen Raspberry is a much brighter red.

2. Blackberry Blizzard is delicate berries and hibiscus and a touch of cream.
Frozen Raspberry is straight-up sour.

With Blackberry Blizzard, I can't say for certain that I taste the blackberry. I mean, it's certainly SOME berry, but I couldn't tell you if it was blackberry or blueberry or a generic mix of woodland fruits or what. Frozen Raspberry, though, is INCREDIBLY raspberry. I can almost feel the seeds getting stuck in my teeth (note: the tea does include freeze-dried raspberries but there are no loose seeds floating in the tea). Maybe it's because I brewed this hot and poured it over ice, but... it's a really vibrant flavour.

Official description for Frozen Raspberry:
"berry delicious

We’re just gonna go ahead and say it – we’re total raspberry addicts. Seriously, how can anyone resist these deliciously tempting berries? They’re sweet, fruity and bursting with summer freshness. We all know raspberries taste great straight up. But have you tried them as an iced tea? Gamechanger. We kicked this blend up a notch with a creamy swirl of yogurt. The result? An icy treat that tastes just like a raspberry fro-yo. We won’t judge if you go back for seconds.

ingredients

Apple (apple, citric acid), sugar, raisins, hibiscus blossom s, carrot, yogurt pieces (yogurt powder, sugar, maltodextrin, modified starch, citric acid), beetroot, raspberry, natural and artificial raspberry and strawberry-cream flavouring."


...seriously? RAISINS?

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