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Category: grocery

05/29/09 09:05 - ID#48791

The Root of the Matter.

Earlier this evening, I made a pit stop at PriceRite for Ginger - a tiny piece of it that weighed less than a third of a pound. I think the ominous sign was when the cashier checking out my groceries pointed at the twisted little piece of root and asked me what it was.

Personally, I think no one on this planet should go through their life without getting acquainted with ginger. I was debating the pros and cons of telling her what an awesome seasoning the tiny root makes but I stopped mid-thought when I saw my total bill. I was expecting a bill of less than $10 but I got billed twice the amount:


I would have walked out without making a fuss about any of this but I felt really ridiculous paying $6.46 for a piece of ginger as big as my thumb! I asked her to re-check. She weighed it twice but the total didn't change. One of the managers ambled over and agreed that it was an unreasonable amount to pay for ginger. After what looked like some super-involved physics and computing research, they found that the scale added more than 2lb to everything.

At that point, I should have just left that ginger piece on the counter, asked them for a refund and walked out. Quite unfortunately, however, my frugal shopping senses kicked in. I noticed that I had paid $6.47 for 3 medium tomatoes. I asked them if they could reweigh the other produce on my list.

For some mysterious reason the manager told me: "I will do the tomatoes but I am definitely not doing the onions!" My mind started meandering toward possible reasons. Did he have a massive allergy to onions? Did the peeling and almost psoriatic red onion skins gross him out? Was he psychologically traumatized by the flavour of onions? Why single out onions? Was he French? I was almost ready to pay this extra $10 to know the answer to this conundrum.


Moral of the story: Ginger helps you get some refunds but it can't help you solve elemental mysteries.
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Permalink: The_Root_of_the_Matter_.html
Words: 351
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

05/24/09 11:27 - 62ºF - ID#48738

The Confessional Carrot and Apple Cake

The big confession is that this is my first time baking or even cooking with eggs. The results are surprisingly rather pleasant.


I really expected some kind of hard sedimentary rock - considering my former eggless ventures but this one sliced pretty easily and didn't stick to the glass.


Though the recipe called for a truckload of butter ( ), quite possibly, this might be the one of the more healthful cakes I have ever eaten.


I tossed in a granny smith, some almonds and peanuts in addition to the carrot so it is slightly on the more-moist side. Oh, and I freaked out last minute about using only oatmeal flour so I tossed in some toasted bulghur wheat - the fibre value might have gone up 50% because of that. Hehe


According to the label on the package, the hens were apparently running around in a carefree manner eating vegetarian organic poultry feed when they produced the light brown eggs that I bought.


The carrot-tag claimed that they were grown in an "certified" organic environment and the almond-pack says they are from a "green practices" farm. The butter is organic too. The Coop made a killing business out of me yesterday. Hahaha


The oats were packaged and sold by a ubiquitous brand that has a cheruby and probably gouty old man as its mascot. The bulghur wheat is from Lebanon.


The peanuts and apple, unfortunately, didn't have any special qualities listed. I am assuming the spices are pretty generic as well.


As usual, I had no sugar at hand so I used only honey. As a result the cake is very mildly sweet. One slice contains less than 1/2 a teaspoon of honey. If you are looking for a sugar-overload, this is not it.


I think I might be bringing it to the BBQ tonight (is it still on?)

(e:Terry): Less eggs
(e:leetee): More flour.
(e:Paul): Ripe bananas
(e:libertad): More honey
James (I think or was that Robert?): Dates as a binding agent

I love you all. :)
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Permalink: The_Confessional_Carrot_and_Apple_Cake.html
Words: 365
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

05/23/09 12:15 - 62ºF - ID#48726

The BBQs of this planet can take a hike.


My Lemon and Coconut flavoured Green Lentil Power Dinner.
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Permalink: The_BBQs_of_this_planet_can_take_a_hike_.html
Words: 11
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: eating in

05/19/09 08:46 - 59ºF - ID#48700

What am I eating?

I have been keeping watch over what I eat for the past two days using the CRON-o-meter. It's an experiment to see if I am eating a balanced diet and where my macro and micro nutrients are coming from. The whole exercise is pretty involved. It's like maintaining a food diary but you get immediate nutrient data read-outs.

[box]On May 18 I had
1. Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A (fat free or skim) 3 cups
2. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, cooked, boiled, with salt 80g
3. Nuts, almonds 15
4. Apples, raw, with skin 1 large (3-1/4" dia)
5. Chewing gum, sugarless 1 piece 5.4
6. Water, tap, municipal 1.8 liter
7. Bananas, raw 1 medium (7" to 7-7/8"long)
8. Tea, brewed, prepared with tap water 3 cup (8 fl oz)
9. Oranges, raw, all commercial varieties 1 large (3-1/16" dia)
10. Bread, pita, whole-wheat 28.5 g
11. Peppers, sweet, green, raw 40 g
12. Onions, raw 30 g
13. Hummus,c ommercial 2 tbsp
14. Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, CHEERIOS 5 g

A total of 963 calories, with 45g proteins, 172g carbohydrates and 16g lipids with around 90% vitamins and minerals.[/box]

[box]On May 19 I had
1. Nuts, almonds 18
2. Apples, raw, with skin 2 large (3-1/4" dia)
3. Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked 1 half
4. Dates, deglet noor 3 date, pitted
5. Cookies, oatmeal, prepared from recipe, with raisins 3 cookie (2-5/8" dia)
6. Cream, fluid, half and half 1 container, individual (.5 fl oz)
7. Coffee, brewed from grounds, prepared with tap water 1 cup (8 fl oz)
8. Milk, nonfat, fluid, with added vitamin A (fat free or skim) 2 cup
9. Peanuts, all types, raw 5 g
10. Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A 4 tsp
11. Chewing gum, sugarless 1 piece
12. Bread, pita, whole-wheat 28.5 g
13. Macaroni, dry, enriched 16 g
14. Mustard Greens and Vegetable Saute 0.75 of full recipe
15. Cereals ready-to-eat, GENERAL MILLS, CHEERIOS 5 g
16. Water, tap, municipal 1.8 liter

A total of 1476 calories, with 65g proteins, 254g carbohydrates and 31g lipids with around 100% vitamins and minerals.[/box]

Strangely, I have begun to feel guilty every time I eat a random almond or down a cookie just because I am recording them all in the software. It will be really interesting to see whether my diet actually changes because I am watching it.

In other news, I am volunteering for a cancer prevention campaign called "Spit for the Cure" on June 13.


My department at Roswell is collaborating with Susan G. Komen's race for the cure on June 13, 2009 at Delaware Park Rose Gardens. We are hoping to recruit as many people from the community as possible to donate their spit (saliva) for cancer prevention research at this race.

If anyone is interested in participating and giving 15 minutes of your time and spit for a noble cause, this is a perfect opportunity! :) Swing by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute's Spit for the Cure tent on June 13 from 7:30 AM to 1:00PM.
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Permalink: What_am_I_eating_.html
Words: 451
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: buffalo

05/16/09 08:24 - 69ºF - ID#48679


Bufwiki is alive!

Someone (David Monroe) who came to Buffalo from Rochester started a Bufwiki. :)

Sign up and start wiki-ing your Buffalo experiences and reviews! I am so glad Bufwiki is finally here.
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Permalink: Bufwiki.html
Words: 33
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: the odes

05/13/09 08:23 - 70ºF - ID#48661

Obsessed with pastry making tips

Though I am never ever going to be able to make myself use this much butter or finely milled flour in ANY of my cooking, I can't help but dream about making pastry and pie crusts.

Its a completely insane and impractical obsession.
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Permalink: Obsessed_with_pastry_making_tips.html
Words: 52
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: the odes

05/06/09 10:17 - 59ºF - ID#48608

Can't wait for this to come out...

It's bound to be amazing. :)

  • That's Strange. I think the Jem song is in the same key as "It's a beautiful life" by Ace of Base but at a slower tempo. Did anyone else pick up on that similarity?
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Permalink: Can_t_wait_for_this_to_come_out_.html
Words: 54
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: opinion

05/01/09 10:49 - 50ºF - ID#48562

Soldier's Girl

Hatred - the single word that defines people who cannot see point of views other than their own.

I am not sure why we are still in a society that makes sections of people fight for their right to a life of their choice. When exactly did we decide that we needed to be homogeneous in our preferences? Have we learnt nothing - absolutely nothing from the sheer variety of life around us? Don't we know that the key to life on this planet is diversity - not just superficial skin-deep diversity, but diversity right up to the last single nucleotide in our DNA?

Surely, we are not that brainless? Or are we? Maybe I should stop seeing features that really dehydrate my faith.
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Permalink: Soldier_s_Girl.html
Words: 132
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: science

04/25/09 11:08 - 62ºF - ID#48507

Food Inc. Paranoia or the truth?

I have been thinking about this topic a lot lately. (e:Jason)'s obesity Vs. smoking posts are not really "out there". These two diseases have more parallel atherosclerotic rotten little end-arteries in common than we can ever imagine.

Since its easier to examine oneself than generalize by poking into what a whole population is doing, I am going to be taking a microscope to my eating habits starting today. The idea is to take concepts from nutritional sciences and turn them on their head. Over my own head.

It's very fashionable to make resolutions to eat right. What is eating right, exactly? With the level of additives and ingredients in all kinds of food nowadays, does "eating right" mean the same thing as it did a few decades or even a few years back? Though the definition of "eating right" might have changed, the effect of "eating right" remains the same. The ultimate goal is to reach the peak of the human lifespan on this planet without diseases cutting short your stay or making it miserable in the last few years.

Can we attain this goal with the food that we consume? Is it the food alone or some kind of an additional psychological attitude that contributes to who ends up on what side of the hospital bed? All of them - fascinating questions with almost no definite answers.
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Permalink: Food_Inc_Paranoia_or_the_truth_.html
Words: 237
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 11/09/11 08:10

Category: flat hunt

04/25/09 11:44 - 74ºF - ID#48498

Buffalo Craigslist Credit Report Scam

I advertised on the Buffalo Craigslist Apartments/Housing Wanted section yesterday I was somewhat doubtful about getting any results but I got a bunch of emails.

The first wave of emails read:

Shareef Ennes <>
Hi do you still need a house?

Muirin Seaver <>
Hey, do you need housing still?

Loviise Blackwood
Hi, I just saw your CL ad. Do you still need housing?

Greer Rowley <>
Hi, I noticed your ad. Are you still looking for a place?

Milena Dodd <>
Hello, are you still looking for housing?

jennamasters.masters674 <>
Hey are you still looking for a place to stay?

galegdwn <>
Hi there. I was just reading the Craigslist Ads, are you still looking for somewhere to stay?

  • That is starting to look like a hundred ways to say the same thing. Heh.

I thought it was worth a shot so I replied. In some cases I sent a blank email back just to check whether they were even reading my replies. In some replies, I wrote, "No, thanks." Regardless of what I wrote/or didn't write, I got these immediate canned replies from all of them in response to my blank/negative/postive email:

Shareef Ennes <>
Greer Rowley <>
Loviise Blackwood <>
galegdwn <>

Hi there, nice to hear from you. Well that's good because I have many places available for you in the area. What's your exact price range? How soon were you looking to move? Before I show you any listings I'd like to get a feel of what you'd qualify for, we can do this by getting your credit score. Our office has a relationship with a credit report company to give our clients free credit reports, if you'd like to get one through our partner go to http:// or you can get one through your own means, just please get this to me and we can get you into something. I look forward to speaking with you.


Muirin Seaver <>
Milena Dodd <>
jennamasters.masters674 <>

Hi, thanks for messaging me back. I'm a realtor and have a decent amount of listings in the area in your price range. How soon were you looking to move? Before I show you any listings I'd like to get a feel of what you'd qualify for, we can do this by getting your credit score. Our office has a relationship with a credit report company to give our clients free credit reports, if you'd like to get one through our partner go to http:// or you can get one through your own means, just please get this to me and we can get you into something. I look forward to talking to you and getting you situated.

The whole lightening speed response thing unnerved me and I sent them an email back saying:

Hi Muirin,

Thanks for your email. My price range is anything less than $570 including all utilities. My current lease ends on Jun 30th. I am required to give my current landlord a 60 day notice before I move. Would you have places ready to move in by last week of June?

I have my current credit report from Equifax. Could you please let me know which office you are affiliated with - before I send you my report. Also, are you in the same office as Shareef Ennes?


I didn't get a reply from any of them.

Later in the day, I got this email:

sun kratzhoefer <>


Just saw your advert on craigslist buffalo looking for studio/1 br
late may/early june.

I hope you dotn mind me mailing but I wish someone told me this before, I was looking for an apt for me and my kids in buffalo but kept getting turned down.

My friend told me it was a good idea to get a credit rep'ort done and take that along when you view the appts. This shows them you are serious about renting and puts you aheadof the other people in the list.

Anyway she showed me this site where you can get a fr#ee report done and it worked wonders, me and the kids are happy in our new appt.

If you need to get one done you can get a fr]ee one doen here http://

let me know how you get on.

all the best

Jamie Low

There were three more emails.

One from someone called: Enola Denney <> saying that she had some mystery location flat painted dark blue and if I minded that paint colour. (Also requesting a credit report from: http:// ) for $3

A mass-email from someone from UB South Campus: Sounded genuine because there was no request for a credit report, just the location, email and telephone number. I am guessing this is a UB student looking to sublet his room in a shared house.

The most genuine email was from a former professor from Canisius who linked to a personal website and replied to each of my requirements. But alas, the flat he is renting out is a block from Niagara St. and quite a hike from Roswell.

A typical credit report has all your:
- Former and current credit card details
- Last four digits of your SSN
- Your date of birth
- Your full address and past addresses
- Your current credit card balance and balance/payment histories.

Are these people sending anonymous unsigned emails cheeky enough to believe that suckers would send them their credit reports and literally invite them to an identity theft party??! What is this - the Buffalo Craigslist Apartment Wanted version of the big Nigerian I -have-embezzeled-funds-give-me-your-bank-account-number email scam?

There is NO such thing as a free credit report from anyone other than the Federal Trade Commission's single authorized website: stated clearly here: (which, in turn directs you to three credit bureaus - Equifax, Experian and Trans Union to request your once a year free credit report)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a prominent warning:

The FTC advises consumers who order their free annual credit reports online to be sure to correctly spell, or link to it from the FTC's website to avoid being misdirected to other websites that offer supposedly free reports,but only with the purchase of other products. While consumers may be offered additional products or services while on the authorized website, they are not required to make a purchase to receive their free annual credit reports.

and even a youtube video channel: with pretty interesting educational videos on credit scam and phishing.

I did get my current Mayflower flat from craigslist, and no one asked me my credit scores then. Are all these people identity theives? Why would anyone want a credit score from you EVEN BEFORE they show you a flat? If they are Buffalo residents wouldn't their names turn up on the white pages? They are unlisted, anonymous, un-"google-able" and downright dodgy.

The lesson: Avoid the housing/apartment wanted section on Buffalo Craigslist.
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Permalink: Buffalo_Craigslist_Credit_Report_Scam.html
Words: 1298
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/13/12 04:18



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