Sunday, December 21, 2008

canisters for food storage

I've spent quite a while on this very cold day browsing online for things for our alternative wedding registry. I selected organic cotton sheets, towels, and a retractable clothesline, but one thing that has eluded me are the perfect kitchen canisters. I want some canisters for our flour (white and whole wheat) and our sugar (white and brown). I want nice ones that I won't mind looking at for the rest of my life since that's how long I plan to keep them.

The canisters should have these features:
-Large enough for a 5-pound bag of flour (the two for flour must be this big, the sugar ones can be smaller)
-Large opening for measuring cup and hand to get in and out easily.
-Square (this is important for saving space. Why are all of the large canisters round?)
-Not plastic! Metal, glass, or ceramic are all fine.
-Solid colored or clear. Nothing with animals or fruit on it.

I must say that I am completely amazed that on the whole world wide web I cannot find any canisters that meet all of these specifications. Seriously, almost all of the canisters out there are round, and if they aren't round, they're too small. Why don't these ideal canisters exist?!?!? If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I really do like biking in the winter

Today was the first day that I rode my bike since last week when my pedal fell off. It was a nice, clear day and in spite of the cold it reconfirmed for me that I really do like biking in the winter. It's kind of a fun challenge to bike across the snow, too, though in general I wish they were plowing the streets this year like they did last year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Well that explains a lot

I biked to school on Wednesday (like I always do) and stayed late to finish up some things for Thursday. I'd barely left campus and crossed Roosevelt when my left pedal felt weird... almost soft. The next thing I know it's gone. It just fell off! So I pulled over and went back to retrieve it. I couldn't figure out how to put it back on in the dark and cold, so I just walked home with my bike.

It was above freezing for most of the day so much of the snow melted, but then it cooled off quickly and whatever was on the ground was refrozen by 9:30 pm when I left school. Once I turned (walked) onto the side street near our apartment, I almost slipped on black ice in the middle of the road. I'm almost sure I would've wiped out on my bike if I'd been riding. That same day, Hyde Park cyclist-blogger Jennifer posted news from the Chicagoist that Chicago will plow and salt side streets less often as a budget-cutting measure. She's right that this is bad news for cyclists.

I haven't had time or motivation to figure out how to put my pedal back on since it's mostly been dark and very cold when I've been home for the past 2 days. In spite of the fact that I ride my bike 5+ days per week (but not far), I'm pretty clueless about bike repair. That will have to change.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

first sticking snow

We were away for Thanksgiving and got back yesterday evening, so today was my first day this winter biking to work in the snow and ice. I've got my system for keeping warm pretty well worked out, and if anything I tend to overdress and get hot.

This morning when I biked to school it was about 23° F. Here's what I wore.
-lightweight wool blend hiking socks
-Gore-tex rain pants

-wool sweater
-fleece jacket
-waterproof/windproof outer shell jacket
-fleece earband under my helmet
-wool scarf
-Thinsulate leather gloves (they cut the wind but aren't super warm)

When it gets colder I switch to my warmer items. I haven't bought any of these items specifically for biking (except the helmet). I cope with cold by layering, so I've got layers galore. My favorite and most useful winter layers, especially for biking, are my rain pants and my silk long underwear (I haven't worn them yet this year).

I'm happy with how my snow tires worked on my bike and I felt secure even on the slippery patches.

Sorry for the slow posting! I'll try to post more frequently.