Saturday, September 25, 2010


I've noticed that lately I've started eating more vegetables. Not just vegetarian food, which I've tended towards for a long time, but now just vegetables. I've always eaten a lot of bread and grains, also cheeses and lentils and the like. But I've discovered something fascinating about just plain old fruits and vegetables.

I can make a meal out of them, eat not very much, and be totally stuffed to the point where I can't eat anymore. I found this surprising. I can eat a ton of fish, or a full load of grains, and a complete meal, and it will take a lot before I want to stop eating. But the other day I made a meal out of just a tomato and an avocado. That's it. I couldn't hardly finish the avocado. I had to force myself to finish it! And, with that, I was stuffed for a full day. Same with squash. I have to FORCE myself to finish it. I'm full, my body is going, "NO MORE!". But if it was a bag of french fries, or bread, or fish, I'd probably be able to keep eating and eating. Odd.

But other vegetables can fill me up for only a short time. Then I get hungry again soon. This isn't a bad thing, but I'm still figuring out what does what to me.

I'm enjoying kale. I've figured out how to make a dish of leeks and kale, pan fried in olive oil and garlic, and I add in some random Asian meat-curry spice mix that makes it really really tasty. I eat it with quinoa usually. Today I made it, and I thought, hmm, this'd be really good with nuts of some kind, maybe walnuts. Sometimes I add feta cheese in there. Today I didn't, and I'm hungry again a few hours after eating. Still figuring this whole thing out, I am.

I'm on a budget now, so I'm trying to buy restaurant food much less than I used to. The last few weeks of the month, in particular, usually will involve no restaurant meals at all. I only have enough to do restaurant meals for a few days a month, and I tend to use them as soon as I can. I love food and I love not haviing to cook it. Oh well.

I am saving a lot of money by eating vegetarian, too, but I love my fish, in almost any form I can get it, and I'll never stop eating it. I also enjoy Vietnamese pork sandwiches, which are, thanks to their extreme cheapness, one of the few restaurant meals I can buy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Registration decisions

I researched re-registering my vehicle as an RV (a "houscar", in California legal-speak).

I'd save money-- maybe as much as $250/yr. I'd have to fill out a form stating how much I spent on the conversion, which would then increase the value of my vehicle, which would possibly raise the cost of registration. What I'm not sure of, is if it'd raise it close to what I'm already paying now for commercial.

I also might get hassled by cops too. If I have noncommercial plates on what is obviously a commercial van, cops might look at it and assume that it has stolen plates on it. Or think I was trying to cheat my way out of paying a commercial reg fee. Either way, it's attention I don't want to attract.

Finally, I am smog exempt as a commercial diesel. As I read it, the law now is requiring non-commercial diesels after 1997 to be smogchecked, so I'd get netted in on that. However, since I run biodiesel, I might pass it, if they're checking for particulates. Then again, if they're checking for NO2, or OBD2 codes, I might not pass. There are a lot of unknowns.

Do I feel lucky, punk? I do not.

The current game plan on registration is to pay the outrageous $350 to keep it a commercial for one more year. If the laws or conditions change, then I can revisit getting it reregistered.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Plugged in and turned on

We've had almost a week of continually foggy, dreary, dark weather, although it's also been HOT and humid and I've needed to keep my refrigerator running. So I tried plugging in my spiffy new 1300W converter. No problem. It works, and it charges up the batteries REALLY FAST. Didn't blow any fuses too, which is excellent, or set anything on fire, which is even more excellent.

Good to know that it works. I also suspect I won't really need it much though. When the weather is cool, the thermostat on the cooler runs it at a reduced duty cycle. It's more just something to have for emergencies, i.e. if I get stuck parked in the shade for a long time, or we get another snap of cloudy-but-warm weather.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Clean the fan

After almost 3 years I finally took the screen off of my vent and cleaned the fan blades. I found out something interesting. They're transparent! Or, they were, befor I let them get so filthy that they were opaque with dirt and dust and grease (from cooking, I suppose).

I sure can breathe a lot better now. I wish I'd done this in the spring, before the warm weather came along. I think I'd have had a lot better airflow in here.

Or even earlier. Perhaps this junk and dirt is what I've been breathing all winter, spring, and summer too. Yuck.

I don't like cleaning, but I'm discovering that it's just something I have to do, there's no getting around it. It's not like I have a lot to clean, anyway, but I guess I have to keep on top of it.