Wednesday, September 05, 2007

a new (& slower) dawn for a fast driver

Yay! I finally was able to bite the bullet & spring for wireless internet access at home. Even less commuting to find internet access at school, libraries & coffee shops. Yippeee! Now I just need to work on my habits while behind the wheel. I’m going to try what the Europeans call “soft driving.” It will be a change from my rather assertive driving style (ahem...) but I’m hoping that it will make me feel much better about the driving that I do have to do while also being more fuel efficient. What is soft driving? Wow! It’s really hard to find out online. I only found one article that actually details the approach. Hmmm…..

  • Use the highest gear
  • Drive smoothly, keep a consistent speed
  • Don’t idle (if stopped longer than 30 seconds)
  • Keep to the speed limit
  • Reduce drag by keeping windows closed & eliminating unnecessary racks, etc.
  • Remove clutter from the trunk & other extra weight
  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Keep car well-tuned
  • Reduce car use, plan to do a number of errands in one trip, car pool
  • Use biodiesel (no can do for me as my car is of the unleaded petrol persuasion but perhaps you can try it)
  • Invest in an electric or hybrid car (not so sure this is so very efficacious if you are ditching one car to get a new one but if you're already carless & in the market.....)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Local Eating Challenge: Walnut Gleaner

Reed & I found these walnuts under (& on) a tree near downtown Santa Rosa last week. Unsure of the results of such random pickings, we were pleasantly surprised to find delicious nutmeat inside. We shelled them & then dried them in the sun for an afternoon.

More recently, I've become obsessed with my food dehydrator. Pears, apples, figs, & hot peppers have all found their way to dehydrated goodness.