Kazan in a Hammock… Wait, That’s My Hammock!

Zoe Kazan is featured in Modern Luxury’s December 2008 Miami magazine (p. 76). The shots for the article were taken in our Brooklyn backyard. In this photo Zoe is luxuriating in the hammock that SB got us during her stint in Amsterdam. There were a number of other (more interesting?) shots, but this is a pretty darn good one. This is the first in what will, hopefully, be a long string of press events for the backyard!

LED Headlight

Tonight I did a much simpler version of this to turn a regular dim incandescent bulb into a three-led super-light. It did take some soldering, but the job was straight-forward (no “electrical” work was required).

UPDATE: This doesn’t work. Some “electrical” work is required. The bulb works for a mile or so, but dims and eventually goes out. I’m going back to incandescent.

‘Tis the Season Not to Have Enough Lights

I was putting up the christmas tree this evening and (surprise) all of last year’s light strands worked. However, when I string the lights each year, I realize that I have to continually readjust them until M approves of the light distribution. I thought, “self, there must be some calculus that could help me solve this problem”. So I did the geekiest thing I’ve ever done in my life… I built a “Christmas Light Calculator“. It’s based on Ken Muldrew’s Christmas Tree Calculator. Is the math correct? I don’t know, but 83.5156′ of lights sure seems like a lot!

DIY Seltzer Water

M returned from Philly this weekend with a 15lb CO2 tank. We hooked it up to the regulator, hose (with ball lock), and “carbonator” cap that I got from Northern Brewer and it worked great. From construction to carbonation took about 10 minutes. Video is here.

The set up is basically the same as this one. I set the regulator to 40psi, but I’ll experiment with other settings.

The steps are this: take a 3/4 full bottle of chilled liquid, attach the ball-lock cap, evacuate the air, connect to the hose, apply pressure, shake like mad, drink.

In this case I carbonated water and pomegranate juice. It’s really tasty and quite cost effective ($.01 for the water, $.02 for the CO2, and $2.50 for 1/2 liter of Georgian pomegranate juice that I get across the street). We plan to experiment with other juices and kefir d’acqua that M makes.

Update: I used way too much pomegranate in my first experiment. Subsequently I tried it with just a couple of ounces of juice and it’s much better.

Park Slope: Hate it or Love it (or Hate it)

There’s a lot to love and hate about Park Slope. An illustrative example: there’s the Tea Lounge, but there’s also Café Regular. Either PS Tea Lounge is a hateful and ratty hole. The baristas are mean in a mean way and the coffee is mean too (I stopped going there the second time they steamed old coffee back to life and served it to me.) At Regular, Martin is mean, but in a good way (once, when asked by a “Slope” dad if the cigarettes in the packs are for sale, I heard him answer menacingly, “nah, I give them away… to children,” as he looked down at the boy.)

Gawker had an article (tagged “stroller derby” which is my description of 7th Ave on any given sunny Saturday) about the Times’ Sunday Styles article. Good readin’.

Full disclosure: I live in Park Slope. I am a member of the Food Co-op. My wife is pregnant. In fact, she took this picture outside of the park slope YMCA while attending a prenatal yoga class. Check out all those strollers!

…and then there were eight

I realized tonight, upon the sale of T’s Bianchi “Cross Project USA” Cyclocross, that we’re down to eight bikes in the basement (E’s Eddie Merckx went to Phillly over the weekend). I sold the Bianchi to a very kindly gentleman and his wife (who drove a hard bargain).

The Power of Beer

I have been searching (albeit not very intently) for “Bierkraft” in Park Slope for about two and a half years. Well, it’s where it apparently has been the whole time: at the corner of 5th and Union. It’s a nice little shop that’s devoted 50-50 to beer and food (cheeses, meats, chocolates, cookies, etc). At the back of the store they have a selection of beers on tap, which they will kindly put into a growler in exchange for a large number of American greenbacks. It took quite a while to get my Kelso Pilsner (which, they neglected to tell me, is from Brooklyn), partly because they pressurize the growler to 18psi before filling it. With this system the beer is transferred from keg to bottle without “being poured” so it doesn’t lose any of its carbonation. Sounds hokey, but it tastes good.