Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Part of Our Pack

Our doggy daughter, Chaka…so dainty, like a doggy swan :)
 Half asleep or half awake? Chaka MHD (Mongolian Herding Dog) :)
Mr. Shaggy, PHD (Professional Herding Dog)

Have a Happy Weekend!

Paz :)

PS. Chaka is a Chow Chow and Shaggy is an Old English Sheepdog

Berry Good!

I am not embarrassed to admit that I don't have a clue as to what these berries or the flower in the next picture are, but I think they just look awesome.
Apparently, some of the flowers have dried out, but in my humble opinion, they add pizzazz to this picture as well.
"You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.
I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.
I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things,
but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about,
such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here . . . I don't have to know an answer.
I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose,
which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me."
Richard Feynman

Paz :)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Atlanta's own Cycling Magazine

Click on the image to read more about this exciting magazine. I am quite stoked!

Peace :)

Moroccan Chickpea Stew

This recipe is an adaptation from ones we have read on the net.
My wife did an exceptional job of making this mouth-watering dish for me.

3 cups light tasting vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large yam or sweet potato, peeled, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cored, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, diced
1/2 cup chopped roasted green chiles- mild or hot, to taste
1 14-oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 15-oz. can chick peas, rinsed, drained
1 14-oz. can coconut milk
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Thai Kitchen curry paste (red or green), or to taste
A pinch cinnamon and cumin
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint
1 cup packed baby greens
Hot red pepper flakes, to taste, if desired

Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions for your make and model and personal time frame.

Or if you're in a more hands-on mood, do it the old fashioned way. Throw everything in a pot and cook, covered, over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about thirty minutes.

Stir in the cilantro or mint, baby greens and hot red pepper flakes. Heat through briefly until the greens soften, and serve.

Serves 4.

Bon appétit' :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Backyard Visitors

Right after we moved to Georgia, earlier this year, we got an awesome bird feeder from Arundel Products, Inc. The feeder is squirrel proof and I hung it from the deck, by making my own bird feeder hanger - an old steel pipe, slightly bent to keep the feeder a couple of feet away from the deck. I a drilled hole in the pipe,  and inserted a key ring into the hole, in order to attach the bird feeder to it.

The photos in this post were shot last week.

Starting with the one below, which shows the frost on the bird feeder and a glimpse of our lovely backyard.
I was so happy to find these incredibly beautiful crystalline formations.
It was still before 9 AM in the morning and that's when I noticed the first visitor to our backyard.
And, then the second. The bird feeder in the photo below is low to the ground and is not squirrel proof. But, we have a dog that does not fancy squirrels and so they stay away, for the most part :)
Here is a little fella with a sunflower seed in the beak. Glad I can provide y'all some food.
This one had a little black patch on the head; only visible from this angle.
Further research taught me that this little fella is a Tufted Titmouse. Adorable!

Another view of the Tufted Titmouse.
Closeup of the Titmouse.
And then, I saw this Brownish bird as well. But, I am not sure what kind he/she is. Also, I noticed that the brown bird at not only from the feeder, but was also rummaging through the leaves below and picking out some food.
Here is the brown bird eating from the feeder.
I notice the brown bird has a pointy beak. Could it be a Brown Nuthatch? I wonder.
Just before I wrapped-up for the day, I saw this beautiful Cardinal (female) at a distance. With my limited experience and lenses, I could only create this photo. This is a beautiful girl!
So, that's all folks. I am just getting back into photographing and I always welcome good tips from y'all. So, please drop a comment and let me know what you think.

Paz :)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

(Chrysanthe) mum is the word

We bought a Chrysanthemum plant for our porch last month.
The temperatures have not been too terrible, all the time, here in Atlanta and so; the plant stayed potted in the special flower pot.
Here, again, is a closeup of the beautiful flower.
Yet another closeup. I think these flowers are gorgeous.
In the last 3 weeks or so, we have had overnight lows in the low 20s, here in 'South'. So, yesterday, we took the Chrysanthemum plant out of its beautiful pot and planted it in the ground.

Hopefully, the deer won't eat it. Mum is the word :)

Paz :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

The hand that rocked the camera

In a recent post, I mentioned my concerns about my hand shaking and asked for your suggestions. I got some good feedback from John Lee of Sindbad and I. Thank you, John. I took your advise and used a tripod for the photographs in this post.

I believe these are winter pansies. We have these in little pots, hanging from a wooden beam, on our front porch. No shake - check!

No shake in this shot either. Now, why didn't I use my trusted tripod before? I wonder...

And, my trusted tripod is...
I love this Gitzo G2220 tripod. It weighs as much as I want it to weigh and it is rock solid. Less shaky than this photographer's hands :)

Paz :)

Peanuts? Not really...

I haven't posted anything in a while, mainly because of not cooking much. My lovely wife has been kind enough to help out in that department, while I take care of the exterior of our 'mansion' and 'grounds'. Leaves are a plenty, here in the great metropolis of Atlanta and that actually keeps me pretty busy. Lots of leaves to blow. Luckily, the back our home is wooded and I simply blow all the leaves in there. No bagging of the leaves required.
I recently learned that Dry Roasted Peanuts may not be vegetarian. I was surprised to find out that many manufacturers of Dry Roasted Peanuts spray the nuts with Gelatin (an animal byproduct, if memory serves me right), for whatever the motive be. Whoda thunked? This is something I would not have suspected. Now, we are back to buying only Peanuts that list all the ingredients clearly on the label.

Trader Joe's Blister Peanuts is still our 'good list'. Hopefully, we can find a few more to add to the list.

Hope all is well with you.

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Bon appetit' :)

Schlumpf Innovations + Haberstock-Mobility = Great Customer Service

In my last post, I mentioned that one of the Torx screws on the Schlumpf Speed Drive stripped and that I was going to contact Schlumpf Innovations to get a few spare Torx screws.

I contacted Schlumpf Innovations on 11/30/2013 and I did not have to wait long at all for a response. May be a few hours? Boy did Schlumpf Innovations respond at lightning speed!

Lo and behold, the inventor of the Schlumpf, Florian Schlumpf himself, personally answered my email and assured me that I will get some spare Torx screws. Below is an excerpt from Florian's email:

Good morning Chandra,
thank you for your kind message.
We will be glad to send you a few of the Torx screws. Please forward us your shipping address.
You will get it from Haberstock-Mobility in Germany, who are producing our gearing systems now.
Thanks also for your comments on Facebook and your interesting blog!

With best wishes from snowy Switzerland,


Florian Schlumpf

schlumpf innovations gmbh
Dorfstr. 10
CH-7324 Vilters / Switzerland
Phone +41 81 723 80 09
Fax +41 81 723 83 64
 Visit us at BaselWorld March/27 till April/03 2014: Hall 2.0 Booth H39
auf dem Link http://ibrompton.blogspot.com/2013/11/fine-tuning-schlumpf-speed-drive.html siehst du die fehlende Schraube des s-d 08. Könnt ihr der Dame zwei, drei Schräubchen zusenden?
Danke und Gruss

Florian also informed me that I will be hearing from Haberstock-Mobility, who produce the Schlumpf gearing systems. I did hear from Franz at Haberstock-Mobility, in a matter of minutes, from Florian's email.

Hi Chandra,

im Franz from haberstock mobility. I learnt the gearing system from Florian.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask me.

I will send you today the lost screw.

Have a good time and best regards

from cold Germany

Beste Grüße aus Lauchringen/ Best Regards

i.A. Franz Furmaniak

- Techn.Leitung Schlumpf Getriebe -

2011-03-14 Logo.wmf

Kadelburgerstrasse 10

D-79787 Lauchringen

T: +49 77 41 67 28 29

F: +49 77 41 67 28 30
E: franz.furmaniak@haberstock-mobility.com
P: www.haberstock-mobility.com

Kennen Sie schon unseren "Advanced Belt Drive" ?

Drive mit ABD

I am very pleased with the really great Customer Service from both Schlumpf Innovations and Haberstock-Mobility. It is very pleasing to know that there are some people who will stand behind their products, both pre and post sales. In this case, the product was not directly sold to me by either Schlumpf Innovations or Haberstock-Mobility. In fact, I got the Schlumpf drive installed by Foldabikes. Schlumpf Innovations and Haberstock-Mobility could have told me to simply go through Foldabikes and get the issue resolved. However, they did not pass the buck!

Schlumpf Innovations and Haberstock-Mobility chose to exemplify great customer support by acting as role models.Awesome job, Schlumpf Innovations and Haberstock-Mobility. Thank you!

This is how all manufacturers should behave - stand behind their products. Alas, in this day and age of mass produced, cheaply manufactured goods, made by companies who seem to be in it for the sake of Profit Maximization only, not only is the quality of many a product questionable, but the very idea of Customer Service has become an oxymoron!

I am looking forward to receiving the Torx screws in the mail soon and replacing the stripped Torx screw on my Speed Drive. And, riding many a hill, made easy by my Schlumpf!

Paz :)