Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I've been interviewed

After commenting on Baltimore Rowhouse's interview a while back, Danny from Urban Discoveries Living Blog asked if I would be interested in being interviewed. I jumped at the chance and even though it took me several weeks to get my answers to him, I am really happy with the results.

Head on over there and check it out. They also have lots of useful information and constant updates on what's going on in Baltimore.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Truffle Shuffle - League Champions!

This isn't a catch-up post since it happened last night. My volleyball team won the championships for our division last night at the Volleyball House. Everyone played great and at one point when we lost the lead late in a match, we didn't fold and came back to win by 3 points.

We are moving up to a new division for the next session (starting next week), and I am looking forward to getting better. I feel like I've come a long way, but I still wouldn't consider myself to be good compared to the other players on my team, let alone some of the other people I see playing at VBall house.

On another note, I sprained my ankle playing basketball over Easter weekend up in CT and it still hasn't healed (to be expected). I sat out vball on Wednesday and football yesterday morning so I wouldn't aggravate it. I thought playing last night wouldn't be too bad as long as I wrapped it up right, but after playing 5 tough games, it feels worse than it did originally. Now, our BSSC team has playoffs this Wednesday and Thursday and I know it won't be feeling much better by then, but I want to play. I guess this will be a never-ending cycle since the other league starts next Sunday and Beach vball starts next Wednesday. We'll see how this plays out.

Charity Happy Hour Re-cap (Catch-Up pt.3)

Last Thursday was the happy hour at Mad River to raise some money for Anna's House, my Dragonboat team's charity organization. The turn-out was pretty good and I think we raised a decent amount for them.

Lee, learning how to make a margarita:

My pops and Linda showed up (after the HH ended though):

From long range (Nick and I ran the table till everyone left for Mother's):

Everyone stayed at Mad River for a while after the happy hour ended and then headed over to Mother's until ... well ... I guess a while (the last picture in my camera from the night was taken at 11:55 PM and showed no signs of us stopping).

Sushi 101: Roll Your Own (Catch-Up pt. 2)

Wednesday night after Habitat, I went to Whole Foods in Mount Washington to take a FREE class in Sushi. The class was put on by Genji's community group. We got a Sushi 101 book that has step-by-step instructions for making your own rolls, but also has sections about terminology, recipes and other how-to sections (use chopsticks). There were about a dozen people there and the guys running the class seemed to think several didn't come because of the bad weather (a girl in our group didn't make it because the weather caused too much traffic).

The class started with a simple avocado roll. We were instructed to take a piece of nori (toasted seaweed) and place it on the mat with the shiny side down. Then we took an egg-sized ball of rice and spread it over the nori, leaving about a finger width at the top:

The chef told us to take 4 of the slivers of avocado and place it length-wise on the rice, closer to the fully-covered end (I only used 2 pieces to make it easier to roll, since it was my first time):

From here, we'll have to go with text only until the finished product (this is from my head because I don't have the book they gave us handy):
  • Slide the nori to the end of the mat closest to you
  • Grab under the mat with your thumbs and just past the avocado with your fingers
  • Roll the mat (and nori) over the avocado, using your fingers to keep it from being pushed
  • Once you have it rolled, squeeze the mat lightly
  • Unrolled the mat and reposition the roll so the uncovered (by rice) nori is on the bottom
  • Wrap the mat around the roll again and use your hands to form it into a square shape
  • Unwrap and cut

I found some pretty good step-by-step pictures on flickr if you go through the photostream.

The class was great and would have been worth paying for. At the end, we got the free Sushi 101 book, a free mat and 4 free rolls (the we made ourselves). The 4 rolls included an avocado roll, cucumber roll, avocado and cucumber inside-out roll and a California inside-out roll. I definitely recommend this class for anyone that likes sushi.

An inside-out California Roll

Habitat for Humanity (Catch-Up pt. 1)

On Wednesday last week, I got to take the day off from work and volunteer with Arundel Habitat for Humanity as part of a Earth Day corporate citizenship effort (other workers could volunteer at the Baltimore Zoo or an Environmental Festival). The weather was crappy and it rained all day, but luckily we were working inside a house that had a completed roof. We worked on a house in Brooklyn that had been completely gutted and had new joists and floors. Our job was to frame out the rooms.

Even though the day was crappy, I had a lot of fun and our group was able to accomplish a lot. By the end of the day we ran out of screws, and had to pack up a little early, but we were able to visit some of the other houses that were at different stages and see the transformation these groups are able to make.

I took a couple pictures with my phone:

Today is Catch-up Day

Expect several posts from the past week over the next several hours.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Hour for Charity - Mad River, Thursday, 4/16, 6-9

Hey Everybody. We are hosting another happy hour to support Anna's House. Please come out and have a great time and support a great cause.

Where: Mad River - Federal Hill, Baltimore
When: Thursday, April 16th, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Why: I am on the Dragonboat team for my work and we are raising money for our charity organization, Anna's House
What: $10 cover (goes to Anna's House), $1 off specials for domestic beer, house wines and liquor (not top shelf though) and 1 free drink ticket with each paid cover, all tips also go to Anna's House and I will be "guest bartending" from 8:30 - 9:00 PM (these are what the specials were last time, they might be different)

I appreciate anyone coming out to support Anna's House.

Monday, April 6, 2009

I have light!

I have more pictures from other work I did this weekend, but they are on my camera at home; this is from my phone. I am pretty happy to have this wired up the way I want it now. It will also make working on the rest of the first floor a lot easier.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Baby Steps ... What about Bob!

I haven't really dedicated too much time working on the house this week, but I have been doing small one-off things that I can finish quickly and feel like I made some progress. I decided to clean the basement area at the front of the house since there were large piles consisting of plaster, mortar and other random debris from working on the front wall on the first floor (a lot of the debris feel through the holes left from the radiator piping). I don't have a picture, but the front area in the basement is now clean and I will start moving some of my stuff in storage to that area. I also covered the radiator holes so more debris doesn't fall through (see duct tape on floor).

I installed the first outlet in the living room and had to place it a little lower than planned (was going to do 14" to the bottom of the receptacle but it would fit under the window so I did 12"). I am glad I did this one first because now I will install the rest on the first floor at the same height.

I also got a chance to clean up my kitchen and have that room in a state it will remain in until after my friend's visit at the end of April. I'll probably hang some drop cloth in the doorway between the living/dining room and kitchen so the dust from any other work I do is minimal.

Not sure what I am going to do when I get home tonight (after volleyball, of course), maybe start moving all the stuff in the basement to the front so I can cut down the remaining radiator piping this weekend, or maybe just partition off the kitchen.

Also, I should be able to procure a hammer drill pretty soon and once I do that I can finish wiring the rest of the outlets in the living room and turn that breaker on.

When I named this post "Baby Steps," I didn't really think about it ... but when I went to publish it, I thought about the movie What About Bob? and had to post a picture.