Saturday, November 19, 2005

Science Project

So Tara's school science project this weekend, an experiment of her own design (with input from family members), is to pop 50 kernels of Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Popping Corn one-by-one in the microwave, record the 50 popping times, and bar graph the results. For example, X kernels will pop between 2' 30" and 2' 35".

What we've found so far is that the individual kernels in this batch aren't inclined to pop. After several four minute trials, with single kernels center stage, the Magic Chef decided it'd had enough, and gave up the ghost -- temporarily or permanently we're not sure. Obviously I'm not anxious to run out and buy a replacement appliance, only to blow it again. New strategy needed.

Current experiment: bring oil to high temperature in a saucepan on the electric stove. Add a single kernel, start stop watch. Wait for results. Results so far: I hear the smoke alarm in the living room. Gotta go.


The Magic Chef came back to life, but we stayed with the shallow stovetop bath of Canola Harvest, with a transparent Pyrex cover. Kernels were added to the simmering oil one by one and their TTPs (times to pop) recorded. A few never popped.


We celebrated the success of our experiment by seeing Chicken Little at the mall (stop signs are not hexagonal by the way). Then Derek came by and we watched some of the 109th Civil War (UofO Ducks vs. OSU Beavers -- USA-style football). Oh, and Don says with emphasis that it's Mt. Hood Community College (never "Mount").

Tara offered to make spaghetti but turned on the wrong burner. Heat accumulated in the aforementioned Pyrex (Kim's) and exploded, covering the stove and floor with glass. Our kitchen linoleum acquired permanent sear marks from the super hot shards. Fortunately no one was standing nearby. The Ducks won. I finished making the spaghetti and put duct tape over the blemish.

We're rough and tumble in this family. Buddhism in a nutshell: Suffering R Us (now you figure out how to turn that R around and invite a lawsuit). Tara is following her plan for the evening, happy I'm not too burned up over the Pyrex misadventure. I wonder how Alexia is doing, and Julie. Sam. Carla.

So here I am, typing in my blog, and feeling pretty zen about the whole day -- maybe because I went to sleep listening to Alan Watts on CDs (a present from Jim Buxton around the time of George Hammond's memorial, McMenamins after). I read lots of Alan's files (published books mostly) in my high school years.

Now, back to USC vs. Fresno.