Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What's on Leonardo daVinci's "To-Do" list? - Boing Boing

What's on Leonardo daVinci's "To-Do" list? - Boing Boing: "Sometimes, it helps to consider irrelevant information, to eavesdrop on all the stray associations unfolding in the far reaches of the brain."

(Via BoingBoing.)

Jeremy Snyder's search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie

Jeremy Snyder's search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie: A manager at the lighting efficiency programs at Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute decided to find the very best iteration of his favorite cookie. He used the scientific method, and got his kids involved in the process. Now that's a research project that most kids can support!

(Via All Over Albany.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Christmas Tree Hunt - part 1

Every December, godless heathens that we are, we like to get a nice fresh Christmas tree for our home. We are fortunate to live in the beautiful Hudson River Valley in New York state, where there are an abundance of small local farms, including a terrific tree farm, Veeder's, right near our home!IMG 2040 Veeder's Tree Farm in Earlton NY has such wonderful trees. Lots of different species, but our absolute favorite is the Concolor Fir (in the center of the picture above). The needles are bluish in color, and very long, but they aren't sharp and pointy at all, with a lovely orangey scent. They also don't shed, even when you forget to water the tree for the last week you have it up in the house (guess how I know!) Usually around the end of October or beginning of November we start to see the signs for Veeder's up around town, letting us know it's time to go pick and "tag" a tree for cutting later. It's much nicer to do this during the relatively warm and sunny weather of late fall. IMG 2026 As always, it's a huge negotiation as to what tree we will get. My husband usually wants whatever tree is closest to the exit, making the cutting and dragging part a little less intense. My son wants something at least 12 feet high, and still argues that we should get rid of most of the living room furniture to accommodate such a monstrous tree and the girth it would have.IMG 2041 My daughter just wants something with strong branches, so she can load them up with as many decorations as possible and not have it sag. IMG 2036 I am dead set on the Concolor Fir, after a few tries with other types I just can't accept any substitutes. I'd love to get a really tall tree, but they always get really WIDE too, which wouldn't work in our modestly sized home. So, we argue, and look at as many trees as we can stand, and finally pick one that we all can live with. IMG 2045 IMG 2044 And the winner is: IMG 2035 We tagged it with some green ribbon and our name, and marked down the location on the list at the front gate. When we come back, probably the weekend of December 10th, we'll cut the tree, and schlep it home for decorating (in Part 2 of the series). Check out my post on Albany Kid about things to do this season, with lots of other links of interest to Capital Region families.

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