Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Space 'n' Gardening

DO THE ROBOT: This afternoon's travels took us to Top Ten Toys, a great toy store in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. It had been entirely too long since we've been in a straight-up toy store. We didn't buy anything, but we sure had fun looking. 

We perused puzzles, arts & crafts kits, balls, board games, action figures, books and more.  I was heartened to see they had lots of space-themed toys in stock. I really wanted this. ...
I mean, who wouldn't want their own Launch Complex 39 (LC-39)?!  Originally built for the Apollo program, LC-39 became home to the space shuttles program.  Sadly, those aren't launching from there anymore, either, but this toy lets you re-live history.

These days, SpaceX leases Launch Pad 39A from NASA. Speaking of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), news of another #NASASocial opportunity exploded on social media today.

Social media users are invited to apply for credentials to attend the Sept. 19 SpaceX launch of the next cargo resupply flight to the International Space Station (ISS). A Falcon 9 rocket is targeted to liftoff at 2:38 a.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 19, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. I can't wait to see if anyone I know is selected to go!

Applications can be made here:

SEEING GREEN:  We spent hours and hours toiling in the yard today. We placed plants in the new rockery, and checked out the fruit and vegetables popping out all over around this patch. 
We also harvested three more pounds of tomatillos for Round 2 of salsa verde.  I was super not happy with the first batch I made (it is a delicious relish, but does *not* taste like salsa verde to my palate), So, I searched for a new one, and wound up doing a riff on one from a site called Food in Jars.  It's called "Small batch roasted tomatillo salsa."  One divergence I made was subbing fresh-roasted Hatch chiles and a habanero (from our garden) for the jalapeño the recipe called for. It filled five half pint jars and it is spicy and delightful. Hooray! 
AGING, MARS STYLE: It's been a little over two years since Mars Science Laboratory landed on the Red Planet.  The environment there can be tough on a rover, and today The Verge published a story with side-by-side photos showing the toll time and the elements have taken on Curiosity. It's worth checking out - here's a link:

GAME-Y:  Tonight at dinnertime, we played what has to be one of the craziest card games ever. Its name, "We Didn't Playtest This At All," is fair warning of what you're in store for.

On the game maker's Web site it's described as follows; "Between Rock Paper Scissors battles, being eaten by a random Dragon, or saved by a Kitten Ambush, there are many hazards to avoid. Games last between 30 seconds and 5 minutes(if you play slow!), and specifically engineered to fit in maximum fun."

As far as we could discern, the rules are simple: Start with two cards. When it's your turn, draw one, and play one. It sounds simple, but chaos and hilarity and arguing and campaigning quickly start blossoming out of control. It's Crazytown!


  1. That's the recipe I canned last summer! It's great. I make enchiladas with it--still have a few jars left, actually.

    1. Glad to have your ringing endorsement of that recipe! I could tell from tasting it pre-canning that it was *much* closer to what I was hoping for than the last recipe I tried.