I somehow found this article yesterday while I was mindlessly surfing a few minutes away. It's an interesting story about India's tiffin-wallahs in Bombay who transport some 160,000 hot lunches (tiffins) from family homes to the offices and schools of hungry husbands and children and then perform the same in reverse with the empty lunchboxes. The tiffin wallahs who do the transportation are largely illiterate and rely on a system of symbols hand-painted on the tops of the containers to sort and process them in rapid order. Extremely impresive since they only make a mistake once a month, earning them a 6 Sigma performance rating from an unlikely admirer, Forbes Magazine. All this for the cost of about $3.33 per month, with service six days a week.
The tiffin wallahs are all of the same caste and a fairly closely-knit group, many related and largely from the same village. The service, in fact, is suspended for a month every year so everyone can go home for a long festival in their home town. Every tiffin-wallah works for himself and pays dues to a union or association and is guaranteed a job for as long as he can do the work. The association itself handles administrative tasks and then donates a large share of its take to feeding the poor.
A very interesting look a business I never knew about and probably wouldn't have thought feasible.
We went to our first childbirth class last night and despite promises from the books and friends, there was no “miracle of life” footage in the film we were shown. Shucks. Anyhoo … the class has 10 couples in it and apparently, we are a bit behind because we're the earliest due date by quite a bit. Of all the couples, six are having girls, two boys and two don't know. Which I find interesting.
In other baby-related goings-on, little miss has been making excellent strides in her quest to annex my abdominal cavity in its entirety. Breathing has become quite challenging. I can't believe how close it's getting!
For dinner last night, we broke out the new cookbook Kelly gave me for Christmas, Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers
. I'm a long-time fan of Moosewood Restaurant's cookbooks … they're the ones who taught me how to make streudel and I think they can convince just about anyone that veggies are delicious.
We tried out their rarebit risotto … a traditional risotto flavored with beer and cheddar for a very very yummy if slightly unusual flavor (for risotto). Try it out! Read More
1 qt veggie broth
1 T olive oil
1.5 C arborio rice
12 oz beer (1.5 cups)
3 C chopped broccoli
1 T Dijon mustard
4 C loosely packed grated sharp cheddar
2 C chopped tomatoes or halved cherry tomatoes
sprinkling of black pepper
In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan on medium-high eat, warm the olive oil. add the rice and stir until well-coated with oil. dd the beer and stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid, a couple of minutes. Ladle in the simmering broth a cup at a time, stirring often. Let the rice absorb most of the broth before adding the next cup, usually about 5 minutes between additions.
While the risotto is cooking, steam teh broccoli until bright green and just tender. Set aside.
When the last of hte broth is absorbed, the kernels of rice should be al dente and the risotto moist. Add the mustard and cheese to the risotto and stir until the cheese is melted. Stir in the broccoli and tomatoes, season with black pepper and serve hot.
Yes yes, another weekend shot. How do they go by so darned fast. Here it continued to be very cold, but that probably helped us out since we had loads to do at home.
Friday was loads of errands to prepare for the weekend and a trip out to the industrial suburb of Denver (Commerce City) to pick up the dresser that Matt's dad and stepmom bought for the nursery. That is an interesting story in and of itself, but perhaps a different time. We had to wait until the next morning to see it in the room since I am presently useless at lifting heavy things. It is absolutely perfect in there and we're really excited to see the nursery shaping up so well!! Read More
Man am I glad it's Friday!! Matt got back into town last night after a 5-day trip to Cali for work. We picked up Thai food on the way home and had a nice quiet evening. This weekend will hopefully be more of the same. It's a balmy 1 degree outside right now with highs this weekend topping off around 20, so we intend to do a lot of staying indoors. I've got a nice backlog on the Tivo and a few projects I want to work on, plus some extra fun stuff like cleaning the fridge. Matt plans to get slaving away in his shop on some more stuff for the nursery. Probably more than anything, though, I'm just looking forward to not having to wake up to an alarm for two whole days straight.
On Tuesday, the last book from one of my all-time favorite series of books was released: the fourth book in the Traveling Pants series. Needless to say, I picked it up after work and had it finished before bedtime.
I hated for the series to end, but the author knew when and how to end it and did it in a really authentic and satisfying way. She didn't play any cheap tricks like so many authors, paticularly of teen series play … especially drawing what should be one book into three or four and covering increasingly small periods of time. She stuck true to the format and true to the spirit of the stories and I know I will continue to re-read this series over and over in years to come.
I won't go too much into the plot because I really don't want to ruin any of it, but I will encourage you and possibly badger you if I know you well … if you are a girl (sorry to be sexist) you must READ THESE BOOKS. They are wonderful and well worth your time.
The light fixture for the nursery came in last Friday. Yay!! Matt stuck it right up there with very little problem and we both love it.
Finding this light fixture was complete dumb luck. I was going thru my back magazines trying to whittle down the 8' pile to 7' and in the back advertising pages I saw an ad for Fabby with a picture of that light fixture. We ordered it, got it quickly and are very pleased. We would highly recommend their service and their light fixtures.
Matt, dear hubby of mine, is the *king* of bizarre internet stuff. I get weird links from him usually at least once a day … strange articles, silly jokes, bizarre pictures. So a couple of years ago, he sent me a link to the world's smallest country, Sealand.
It's a fort 13 miles offshore from England that was abandoned after WWII and claimed by Roy Bates in 1967. It's got an interesting history including a kidnapping (read the site, interesting stuff!). And most recently, it's been largely used as a place to keep servers for unrestricted internet content.
Well now, it's for sale! Hope someone buys it and does something cool with it.
UpdateIn a hilarious turn of events, torrent magnate, The Pirate Bay, is interested in buying sealand to house their servers and keep torrents and illegal content plentiful. Haha.
I think it happened last Tuesday. Or maybe it was Wednesday? I can't remember. Matt picked me up from work and we stopped by Target on our way home to pick up something for dinner. Matt has been coveting a Wii since they came out in November (prolly before), but since we didn't pre-order, we knew it might be a long time. So after we got our foodstuffs, we made a sweep by electronics. Lo and behold there were not just one, but FOUR Wiis sitting there calmly in the electronics case under lock and key. Matt and I both did a double-take and then looked incredulously at one another. Nope. No mirage. Just four Wiis. We quickly located a Target employee and asked for two of them. See, not only did we want one, but my aunt and uncle had been searching for one for a Christmas gift for my cousin since … well before Christmas. They'd ended up giving her a WiiOweYou instead. Even more incredibly, Target gave us no hassles about purchasing two of them.
After having played this fine system and watching my six-year-old cousin beat the pants off all of us at bowling, I can fully attest to what an innovative system this is. It is entirely intuitive (in fact, I think it helps if you're a complete video game novice) and really fun to play. Owing to the fact that we're still about 70% of the way thru Final Fantasy XII, we haven't yet cracked Zelda, but we've been playing a lot of Wii Sports. Boxing and tennis are my faves, but the game is very enjoyable and my cousins seemed to find hours of play just in creating Miis (little avatar things that represent you in various games).