Thursday, January 31, 2008

Curl the Vote!

The good people at In The Loop have put together a short video asking young Minneapolitans just how pumped they are about Super Tuesday. And boy, are they pumped.

I, by the way, am looking forward to it as well. A lot of my young (is 29 young?) friends are also totally stoked about it.

And we actually know what it is!

Dated Holiday Fun

Well, it's almost February. And you know what that means. Yup. Time to post photos from December!

This is the second in my playing-catch-up series. Look for photos from January sometime in February.

Here's a photo of Anna's first time in the snow. It was bitterly cold and windy, so she only lasted a few minutes. Probably not a good "first time in the snow" experience. Whoops.

Anna helped decorate a friend's tree before we left town for Christmas. Our house was completely void of any holiday decoration. It's not that we don't have any (there is a whole bin full in the basement), it's just that we didn't find time to do it this year and, to be honest, I could care less. I guess it's festive to decorate. Maybe Anna will want to when she gets older. That's probably the only way I'll get into the decorating spirit.

A couple photos taken at mommy's mom's place:

She's holding onto her baby (name: Baby) in this photo below. Baby is also in three of the four photos after this one. See if you can spot her.

I love how she crosses her legs when she sits. I mean, I cross my legs when I sit. How crazy is that?! Oh, not so much? Well, at least it's cute.

My dad got the grandkids wagons for Christmas. They were a hit.

My dad keeps letting the kids play on the pool table in the basement. This can only end badly. Like next time were home and it's decided that Anna's too big to play on the pool table now. That's going to be fun.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

I had more hits on this blog yesterday than all previous days combined. Kind of makes me wish I was selling something.

I have P.Z. Myers to thank for this increased traffic. P.Z. is a professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, and is author of the exceptional blog, Pharyngula. Here's a taste of what clicking on that link will give you:

Oh, man, when George W. Bush discovers that people actually post vegetarian recipes on a blog, he is probably going to send Chuck Norris over to kick their asses and slap 'em around with a side of beef.

There are some great comments over there as well.

I also have Tech_Space over on the USA Today website to thank for linking readers to "this lovely item."

I'm feeling the link love. It almost makes receiving that ridiculous email worth it.

It's like my grandpa used to say, "When life gives you hate mail, make lemonade."

Friday, January 25, 2008

Veggie Nugget #11

"The power differential between the hen in the battery cage and the peace activist downing a plate of scrambled eggs is surely as great as that between the Shell executive and the Nigerian peasant."

-Alka Chandna, in her article, "The Unity of Oppressions: Vegan Outreach to Progressives"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Yeah, we don't eat cow's milk"

Here's a great post on being a vegan parent. It's a nice snapshot of the kind of things we have to look forward to as vegan parents.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Grab Bag o' Photos

OK, so I've fallen behind on posting photos of Anna. Here are some from November (yeah, three months ago!).

We didn't actually rake the day this photo was taken, but we thought, well, we need a photo of Anna in a pile of leaves!

Note of shame: This is the only raking that we did in our back yard this fall. I know! I know! We're bad homeowners.

Anna sitting at her activity table with her friend, Buddy. He's usually a fun-loving bear, but whenever I break out the camera he gets all stoic.

Veggie Booty was sold out in all of the stores (and no, it wasn't recalled again), so I ordered some on-line. Oh, and while I was at it I ordered a case of Tings and Caramel Pirate's Booty. Yum.

Anna couldn't say thank you (she can now!), but I'm pretty sure she appreciated it.

Anna was happy to see her cousin Noah over Thanksgiving. He lives in Colorado and we don't get to see him or his dad that often. When they first saw each other, these two hugged for, no exaggeration, about five minutes straight. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever witnessed.

Here's Anna and all of her paternal cousins. I love that they're all looking in completely different directions.

And finally, one day at the end of November, it was unseasonably warm. So we went to the playground.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How Can They Even Sell Hamburgers!

Here's a public service announcement from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Nice, huh?

Changing the subject a bit, it occurred to me after watching this how I never walk through the animal flesh section of the grocery store anymore (sometimes it's unavoidable depending on what store I'm at, but I never slow down to look at the carcasses and severed bone and muscle). It's almost like the whole meat section doesn't exist.

I think about Anna. She goes to the store with me on occasion. When we get groceries we are confronted with the exact thing we oppose: animal exploitation. I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with it as she gets older. I'll try to make a lesson out of it, I guess. But depending on how emotional she is and her ability to empathize, I could see some seriously difficult moments at the grocery store. Four aisles of dead animals. Damn.

Anyway, there's the reality that a lot of stuff you find in the grocery store is just crap. It's bad for you, it's bad for the environment it's bad for the animals who eventually became those nuggets people buy or suffered to produce the milk people drink. Not everything vegan is good for you (or the environment). I'm not suggesting that. But non-vegan stuff is almost always waaaaay worse.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Veggie Nugget #10

The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men.

-Alice Walker, American feminist, author, Pulitzer Prize winner

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New Year

Well, we had a New Year's Eve party again this year. Here are some photos of the food.

I made some great vegan corn dog nuggets (basic recipe for vegan corn dogs can be found here). I actually made them the day before because they make the house smell like a restaurant. Then I just popped them in the oven for a half hour or so on New Year's Eve.

I also made some barbecued seitan. Just pull apart a bunch of seitan, throw it in a crock pot with barbecue sauce and a few hours later you have the best damn sloppy joes you'll ever eat. These were a hit with the meat eaters.

And of course we had the requisite salsa and guac.

I also went out and bought a bunch of vegan queso from the Triple Rock in Minneapolis. This stuff is to die for. Unfortunately, I didn't get a good photo of it. Anyway, it was good.

Some friends brought fruit. By far the healthiest thing at the party.

Oooh, and there were these vegan rum-balls that a friend's non-vegan mom made. The rum wasn't cooked, so they were very strong and not for the kids. Mmmm, alcoholic dessert.

And we made some chocolate covered ritz peanut butter sandwiches. I can't believe we've never made these before. They were really easy and tasted soooo good. Put some peanut butter between two ritz crackers (I used the 365 brand from Whole Foods, but Ritz crackers are vegan, too) and then cover that in melted dark chocolate. If you're using natural peanut butter (and you should be) then I suggest adding some powdered sugar to it to stiffen it up a bit. Oh, and I think chunky peanut butter would work just as good, if not better. Might have to try that next time.

I added sprinkles to one just so see how it would taste and to add a bit of color. It didn't taste great, but looked pretty.

We had some chocolate left over so we covered some freeze-dried strawberries in it. Yum.

The next day was a short one for me. I got up around noon and took a nap at about 1:30 after eating a few saltines and having a few sips of Sprite. While I was dreaming my hangover away my wonderful wife made beer bread with some of the way-too-much beer we had (and still have) left over. Here's Anna stirring the batter and making an odd face, somewhere between pride and effort, I think.

All in all it was a great couple days. The New Year's party was kid friendly until the kids went to sleep or left. Then it turned into an all-out orgy of board games and drinking too much. And by orgy, I mean low key night. And by drinking too much I refer mostly to myself. But by board games I mean board games.