Friday, November 6, 2009

thunder, vegans, hail, composting and roast beef

I decided to make roast beef yesterday and not knowing how I looked up some recipes online. I think everyone who posted on cooks.com on how to cook a roast is out to kill as many naive people as they can. One of the recipes literally said, "cook the roast on 375 degrees for a half hour then turn off the oven, go to church and come back many hours later and turn the stove back on for a half hour at 350 degrees. That just sounds like a great way to give someone food poisoning. And why do I have to go to church to do this? So, I did attempt to cook a roast yesterday and it kind of turned out ok. I cooked it at 450 degrees for a half hour, turned the stove down to 375 degrees and cooked it another 90 minutes. I probably could've cooked it 15 minutes less and turned it over when I turned down the stove and it would've been better. And I didn't go to church.

We had on and off thunder/lightening storms night before last through last night which was uncharacteristic for Seattle. In fact, on Thursday night we had a huge storm right in town with lightning striking with a few blocks of our house. Yesterday I completely cleaned out the chicken coop and had them locked out in their run so it could air out when I heard more thunder. I wanted to finish washing the dishes, then I'd go out and put clean shavings in the coop and let them back in before it started raining. But apparently, I misjudged the timing and it started to rain as I was putting in the last shovelful of shavings and then it started to hail. I needed to put the tools back in our ancient, detached garage at the back of the yard so I ran those in just as a torrent of hail started to fall. So, me and the rats who live in the garage hung out in there for about 5 minutes with me occasionally dodging hail that was coming in through various holes in the roof. A couple years ago we had hail so big it tore holes right through the leaves in our larger plants like azaleas and rhododendrons.

Fascinated as I am by hail, I am more fascinated by composting . Our compost bin where we've been throwing leaves and shavings from the chicken coop along with all the poop is old and falling apart. So, today I went out to fix it and stir the compost while I was at it. As soon as I started stirring it, steam came billowing out which is just so cool! It fascinates me how the chemical reaction can actually cause heat in the core of the compost pile like that! It seems like there must be a way to harness that heat for an alternative power source. Apparently, others have had this same idea. I was wondering what the difference was between the process of heat developing in compost bins versus nuclear energy. My science-geek husband explained to me that in a nutshell the heat from composting is not actually a chemical reaction as I had initially thought, but a breakdown of the molecules and distribution of their atoms. Nuclear energy on the other hand is the breaking down of atoms and a by-product of that is radioactive waste which is extremely toxic. I guess since one of my clients is Hanford Challenge I should probably know that already. Plus, after learning about the government's huge inability to safely dispose of nuclear waste, I can honestly say I will never be a supporter of nuclear energy as a viable alternative source of energy.

The other day I was looking at job ads and I found what I thought would be the perfect job for, helping rescue animals for Pasado Safe Haven in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains by Sultan, WA. I was reading through their webpage thinking more and more, "Oh yes! This is totally me!" when I came to "their philosophy" and how it's easier for everyone to work together if they all have the same philosophy, which is (I'm paraphrasing) "we don't serve animals as food in our kitchens and we don't have fur hanging in our closets". Damn. I decided not to apply because I do eat meat and there's just no getting around it. They want vegetarians and I assume people who don't use leather products and that's just not me. I thought about explaining that it's really important to me to eat only healthy animals who are not brought up in cruel conditions and are slaughtered humanely, but I don't always eat that kind of meat (it is hard to find which I would like to change someday - I'd like that to be the norm!). But I've known enough vegetarians who were that serious about it that it would never work, them knowing I was going to go home and cook myself a chicken for dinner. The leather thing too just doesn't work for me. For one thing, what kind of saddle would I use? I'm not going to go out and get a synthetic saddle made of a form of plastic because that's a big hang-up for me. I do not like plastics. They don't biodegrade, they off-gas toxic gasses and they are all around just awful for the environment. So, in a nutshell, despite that I would love to save animals for my career, we have differing "weird, extreme" opinions. Although I think my weird and extreme opinions are of course more sane than general societies. And if they are not promoting synthetic, non-biodegradable substances as a good option other than leather I think they may be saner too. Who knows. My search continues for the perfect job for me working with animals. I wonder if there is any way we could afford for me to go back to school to get my degree in animal behaviorism or become a large animal vet tech at least? I know it's too much to think of going back to school to be a veterinarian, but I am pondering my options.

1 comment:

  1. Loved your blog. You've a nice way of relating your "farm" activities. But, no, no, it's never too late to return to school. If that's your dream, follow it!!

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