Monday, February 25, 2008

Making a Cup of Coffee

Hello my dearest family,
I regret my inability to post to our wonderful blog in/for quite some time, a regret that is in part owed to/by my full-time soul-destroying employment...sneaky modifiers; I'm really lost, I wish someone would have taught me these an english-teacher/journalist/writer mother. Alas.

This project is one I have been practicing a lot over the past few months. (I have made approx 87 cups of coffee since coming back to work in January.) Free coffee is one of the few perks/perks of my job. And as dad had taught us all so well, if it is free, take it. Even if you don't want it, take it...& get a refill(s).

How to make a cup of instant 'white coffee'

Step 1: Add sugar and coffee grounds, approx 1 teaspoon each; equal amounts. I have found demerara brown sugar and douwe egberts gold instant coffee grounds to be the best available in mayfair. (I know, I know blasphemy with the 'instant' coffee. I baulked at first myself- despite my trademark pedestrian palate- but thats how they do it over here. I attribute this to the universal addiction/adoration to/of tea and the ubiquitous presence of the kettle -so ubiquitous in fact that the standard A/C power adapter cable is referred to as a 'kettle lead'-. Every one has a kettle so if you want the coffee option it has the comply with the existing technological infrastructure. Its really not that bad.

Step 2: Add milk. I have been told if you add the milk before the boiling water it will prevent the instant granules from burning. My vague understanding of science leaves enough doubt in my mind to allow this off-hand comment to alter my behavior; I'm still not entirely convinced but I figure the trade off (taking slightly longer for the granules to dissolve) is worth it. Reader's Note: I'm not sure if I should attribute this to being american, southern or from a 'frugal' upbringing but I always thought 'cream' meant anything which turns your coffee vaguely whitish. Cream is cream; milk is cream; that wierd mainly cocunut syrup gunk with hazelnut flavoring is cream; that gritty baby-formula derived coffee-mate powder is cream etc. This is not true over here. You dont say 'cream and sugar' unless you are incredibly posh and actually want pure cream in your coffee which is incidentally quite nauseating sort of like putting unsalted butter in your coffee. (If you take your coffee with any milk product is is called 'white coffee.')

Step 3: Rinse as much evil limescale from the kettle and fill with cold water. Again, Ive been told that adding cold water is better as less nasty evil things which lurk in the pipes are as likely to come out with cold water as they are with hot water. This seems reasonable. Ive half-read/heard other things too about something with oxygenation of water and the boiling process and temperatures...I'm not really sure any of the conclusions however this makes me even more confident about the cold water start as oxygen seems more often positive in contexts relating to human existence. Boil the cold water in kettle.

Step 4: Add boiling water to sugar/coffee/milk mixture and stir. Be sure the little mesh thing that keeps all the evil limescale in the kettle is firmly in place.

Step 5: Stir until all the little coffee bits disappear and the sugar is fully dissolved.

Step 5: Repeat 4-7 times a day.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

S-10 Clutch Master Cylinder

S-10 Clutch Master Cylinder

The S-10 was not going into gear. In fact we had to pull it out of the park spot to get it in to work on it because the clutch failed. We originally thought this was going to be a 3 sawzall project, but after finishing it, we realized it was much easier than expected. We replaced the master cylinder and bled the system. This may not solve to problem but it seems to work fine now.

Time: 4 hours

Cost: $55

Witch-gear: Craftsman socket set, wrenches, and pliers

Level of Difficulty: (What's with the saws?)

What I Learned: They have designed quick disconnects in this car, so if we need to replace the clutch hydraulic line we have to go to the dealer for the parts and replace the master and slave cylinder and hose all together.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Bathroom Rebuild 2

Bathroom Rebuild

Bathroom Rebuild 2

Months have gone by now and we are still working on the bathroom. We've been making lots of progress which you can see in the photos. We've been posting so many pictures that we went over the 500 photo limit in the first album. A second album named Bathroom Rebuild 2 has been created. Check it out.

Time: 1/2 year

Cost: O

Witch-gear: Purchases to make this project easier: Table saw, Tile saw, Paint sprayer

Level of Difficulty: (What's with the saws?)

What I Learned: Plan Ahead.



Project: I finally put together a present from my sister. Lots of soldering.

Witch-gear: Solder station

Time: 3 hours

What I learned: Soldering station are really nice. If you have to solder lots of connections, a solder station is definitely the way to go.

Level of Difficulty: (What's with the saws?)