Some notes about food in the US

Yeah, many of you know that I am convinced that US food is just bad (gene manipulation, hormones, yadayadayada), and eating out is even worse. I found my own way to get around it … I cook my lunches myself and freeze them. I tried a new recipe – Japanese style – and thought I should share it! It’s easy and really delicious and your roommates will love you.

Ingredients for three lunches:

- 2 cans (2x100g) sardines or 1 can (400g) mackarel

- 1/2 onion

- 1/2 big cabbage (fresh)

- soy sauce, pepper

- 2 cans green beans/corn or peas

- 3/4 cup cooked rice

Recipe (in a big pan!):

- fry the cut onions until they’re glassy (soft)

- add cut cabbage and fish, fry until cabbage is soft and tastes well

- add soy sauce and pepper until it tastes good

- mix remaining ingredients

So I did it and that’s how it looks like:

The 1/2 cabbage – before murdering aehem cutting!

The onions *hmmm* – I did both recipies (mackarel and sardines at the same time)

Done!

And you’ll have this nice fishy smell in your kitchen (and the whole house if you did it right) which will also stay for several days. And even better, when you re-heat the stuff, it’s going to smell nicely fishy. So people told me that they smelled my food in the second floor of Lindley hall. My colleagues will love me soon ;-) .

A note on US apples: *ARGH* why do those people have to wax fruits? I guess to cheat on the customers! I bought 5lb apples, waxed (there were no others) … and they are brown inside! Man, and the bag says: “Meets or exceeds US extra fancy standards, Product of USA”. Extra fancy? Yeah, they have this shiny effect – great :-/.

Running in the cold :-)

Yeah, I’m still running even though the temperature dropped to -19 degree Celsius tonight. But it’s ok, I can dress up. I ran yesterday and today noon-ish. It was about -11 degree Celsius and so pretty ok. It sucks at the beginning but gets even warm after a while. I ran for slightly more than an hour today … it felt really nice.

MPI Forum meeting in Chicago

I just came back form the MPI Forum meeting. It’s kind of cool … I would have never thought that I would ever drive with my own car to an MPI Forum meeting in Chicago – I just did! The meeting was pretty interesting even though most of the discussions were focuses on bugfixing the existing versions. Some of those discussions were extremely boring, for example to talk about 15 minutes about the meaning of “it” in a particular sentence, or the similarly long definition of a straw straw vote (a vote that did not mean anything) :) . But many of those could be solved by taking the discussions offline to the interested subgroup.

I’m (as expected) in the collectives subgroup (as the “deputy” of the group chairman) and the Generalized Request subgroup (I’m not sure if this subgroup will live long because the solution to the problem is kind of trivial). I hope to see a Mini-MPI subgroup soon. It’s interesting to see how careful changes ar applied to this standard and I do really like the process so far. I hope it stays like this.

It is a pleasant 4.5 hrs drive from Bloomington to Chicago (took much longer on the way back because we were stuck in traffic for about an hour in Chicago). I realized two funny things about the US traffic system:

1) there are freeway exits on the left (an no pre-warning signs!!) – man, this is dangerous

2) there is a toll-road towards Chicago – the toll is 15 cents (really!). We paid with a $20 bill (nobody had coins) and the “cashier” was really angry that she had to walk to the office to get change for us *grin*. 15 cents … man.

Travelling back to Indy …

Hah, I thought I had a plan … this time I tried to avoid the two chaos airports Chicago and Newark. So I took a United flight through Washington. But I did not know that I should not take the *last* flight. So it happend what had to happen (yes, I can’t travel without problems, I’m basically haunted). We arrived in Washington and were stuck in Immigration forever. Those nice people had three of the 12 available counters open – no wonder it took 1.5 hrs to make it through.

My flight was already boarding when I finally entered the US (how stupid). Anyway, the clerk gave me the gate number and told me to run (I was told that I had a good chance). I ran … ran, ran, ran, ran … oh man, it was in another Terminal *argh*. And the shuttle transport was too slow (the clerk told me). After about 2 miles constant running (I’m not a bad runner), I arrived at the gate … it was just closed and the bridge pulled off the airplane. Oh man, I was sooo mad.

Ok, so it was 9:30pm and I went to the United counter to ask for a hotel or something (US Airways gave me a free hotel stay the last time this happened in Chicago) – but United did not! Those people … they claimed it was the fault of the airport and the immigration people. Whatever, it wasn’t my fault either and they did not step up. So I had a pleasant night at Terminal 2 in the Washington airport *ugs*. I could not sleep of course …

Anyway, I took the first flight at the next day which arrived in Indy at 10. But I had to wait for the next available Limo (missed my reservation the night before) until 12 … I was so mad :-/. I finally arrived at “home” at 2pm – after 36 hours of traveling. I’m still alive – barely.