This page has moved to a new address.

You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom

You're About to be Redirected to the New Home of Ground Control to Major Mom: 9/4/11 - 9/11/11

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pardon Me While I Vent a Little

The box on the right was purchased in mid-July.  I thought I needed two boxes of cake mix for something, but I only needed one.  The box on the left was purchased this morning.  Darned straight I took the box tops!  But note the size difference....did someone think we wouldn't notice???
I'm baking Jacob's birthday cake right now.  The final product is a surprise -- even for me, since I don't quite know what I'm doing yet -- but I needed two boxes of cake mix for this.

I had a box of mix in the pantry from a couple months ago (the one on the right), and I prepared it as on the back of the box.  1 1/4 c. water, 1/3 c. oil, 3 eggs.

Just before I took the first cake out of the oven, I prepared the batter for the second part of the cake.  I was just about to add the same ingredient amounts as above, but I caught a glimpse of the instructions on the box on the left: 1 c. water, 1/2 c. oil, 3 eggs.

I fished the first box out of the recycling bin and placed them side-by-side: you see that photographed above.  Somewhere between July and now Betty Crocker decided to knock 3 oz (1/6th!) from their cake mix.  And I didn't see a difference in a price.

Isn't this the same thing that been happening with ice cream and salad dressing?


Thank you for letting me vent...time to get part 2 of the birthday cake out of the oven...yes, at 10pm!

Labels: , , ,

A Geeky Experiment: Converting Mowing the Huge Lawn into Mileage and Calories

This is about 1/2 of the backyard in view here.  You can also see our backyard on our weather webcam here.  For some reason the homeowner removed every...single...tree...and...shrub from his lawn.  On Google maps you could see an area of pine trees in the middle of the backyard, but no longer.  More for me to mow.
I'd been wanting to do this for months, and it wasn't till just before Labor Day that I finally did it!

I measured the distance covered mowing our big backyard.  I also measured the time and the calories expended doing it.  Remember, I'm a numbers girl!

It wasn't hard -- I guess anyone could do it with a pedometer, right?  But of course I had to get all techie!

We have an enormous lawn, and because we won't be living here that long, we chose not to invest in a riding mower, and just tough out using our 11-year-old 21" wide push-mower.  When we first moved here in the cooler season, this wasn't so bad.  I didn't have to mow at all for the first 3 months, and then it wasn't often.

Note: Many of you know that I'm the one who mows the lawn in the family.  I don't mind at all.  Until we moved into this particular house, doing this chore wasn't a big deal.  In fact, if I mow on weekends, it's a nice break from the kids!  Dave has horrible grass allergies, and I'd rather take on this chore than deal with his nose-blowing after he does it.

But by Memorial Day, in order to mulch the grass I was cutting (I can't stand bagging/dumping grass), I had to mow no more than weekly, preferably every 5 days to minimize clumps of dead grass among the mulching.  It got really old really fast.  I need about 2 hours to do the entire lawn, but not while the sprinklers are running, or first thing in the morning when the lawn is covered with dew.  So I'd usually wait until as late in the evening as possible, and mow mow mow until I couldn't walk in a straight line anymore because it was so hot.  And I'd still be soaked in sweat.

Between the sweating, sore arms and all the walking I was doing, I figured I'd regard this as a real workout.

There's an app for that!

I attached my Nike+ sensor to my old running shoes that I wear to mow the lawn, fired up the Nike+ app on my iPhone and I got going with the lawn.  Here are the results:

Ignore the fact this is being called a "run".  Obviously it isn't, as seen by the 22:23/mile pace.  This is the front yard only.  It's about 1/2 the size of the back.  The thin line is a micro-measurement of my pace, and it makes me wonder if there's a slope to our yard.  I was mowing in rows parallel to the front of the house.  The deep plunges in the pace graphs are water breaks.

The backyard.  Almost double the distance and a slightly faster pace, which I can attribute to much much longer rows.
So I now know that cutting my yard takes about 1:15 hours (with no breaks, but I take 15-20 minutes worth of breaks), is 3.48 miles, and expends 420 calories (which for me is the same as a 3.5 mile run).

Want more geeky information regarding mowing the lawn?  Here's some for you:

Earlier this year (in the middle of their summer lawn-mowing season I assume), two Australian mathematicians calculated the ideal pattern to mow your lawn with minimal mileage.

This past spring, posted this How-to Wiki with ideas on how to make the dreaded lawn-mowing chore more tolerable.  From getting rid of grass in favor of flowers, trees and robotic lawn mowers (i.e. Roombas for your yard!).

Labels: , , , , ,

MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #57

I haven't done too much blogging this past week, things were crazy with Dave having a medical procedure last Friday.  Then we were stuck in the house for 3 days straight as tropical storm conditions and tornado warnings dominated the Florida Panhandle.  It was challenging keeping the kids entertained, but we came through it just fine and are now greeted with low temperatures in the upper 50s!  It's been nice to open up the house....

I was happy to catch up on my Handmade Afghans to Thank Our Armed Forces Project work over the weekend, too.

I get the rectangles sent to me with the design plan and I assemble them into twin-bed sized afghans.  They're then shipped to military hospitals worldwide.

1. My plans for Labor Day included renting a giant inflatable slip n slide for a unit BBQ at our house, but what really happened was we were inundated by a foot of rain and tropical storm force winds all weekend as Tropical Storm Lee made landfall just west of us over the weekend.

2. Call me crazy, but sometimes I just need to just sit and play some Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook.  I'm so addicted to that game.  It's all my sister's fault, she was always my #1 challenge since 2008 or so.

3. One of the funniest things I’ve seen lately is an older episode of Fox's Family Guy, a show that I love (perhaps that's a better answer to #2?).  The Emmy-winning episode is titled "Road to the Multiverse".  Stewie (baby) and Brian (the dog) invent a machine that takes them to assorted parallel universes.  It was incredibly clever and creative.  In fact, there's 3-4 minutes where the Family Guy characters were all drawn like Disney animation.

4. It’s strange, but folding laundry drives me crazy while vacuuming is perfectly fine with me!  I will vacuum 4-5x per week, but unfolded laundry will sit for nearly a week while I do all the other housework first.

5. One, two, buckle my shoe… three, four _open that door!  In the wake of Tropical Storm Lee, I can happily open up my house and turn off the air conditioner for the first time in about 10 weeks!  It's magnificent!

Labels: , ,