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About 2 months ago I figured that I could probably save some money on gas if I could carpool and do some hypermiling. Hypermiling is the term that describes a collection fuel economy maximizing techniques.

So I have experienced some success in working with some of the techniques. I only compute my fuel economy (mpg) when I fill up the tank. So the first time I did it I went from a basline of 38 mpg to 42 mpg. Next I got 43 mpg and my latest tank I got 44 mpg.

So people are asking what, specifically, I do. So here it is:

  • Take everything out of the car I don’t need. I emptied the trunk. No unnecessary weight.
  • Inflated the tires more. The max pressure is 44 psi but I’ve always run on 32 psi. I’m now running 38 psi and a little nervous but everyone tells me I can safely go up to the 44. I’m too chicken to try.
  • Never, EVER, drive faster that 65 mph. Sometimes I drive only 60 mph on the freeway.
  • At red lights that I know will be red for a while I turn off the engine.
  • Never drive with the windows down.
  • Run the air conditioner only when necessary.
  • Try and “draft” behind semi trucks.
  • Engage the clutch when going downhill–most of the time I can keep a constant speed without having to run the engine or having the resistance of having it in gear.

That’s it. I’ve thought about trying to “ridge ride” but I’m not comfortable doing that so I don’t. Maybe someday.

Nevertheless, it has helped. Carpooling has been the biggest gain as it cut my gas consumption in half.

My Favorite On-line Clocks

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I have collected a list of on-line flash-based clocks that I like to use. I use them for different things from timers, to informational, to just project it onto a screen during a meeting.

If anyone else has some that they like, please post them in the comments!

The Glow Clock. I love this clock because of the ability to change the background color and for the continuously sweeping second hand.

The Timeline Clock. I love this clock because it works great on a wide-screen monitor or projector. It also gives you a sense of how time is passing on different levels.

The World Clock. This is a clock that shows interesting global statistics. It’s fun (and disturbing) to watch.

The Naked Alarmclock. This is a timer with a great alarm. I use it all the time.

The Analogy Clock. This clock has the traditional layout but presents the information in a different way.

Brother’s Day – June 20, 2008

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Today, June 20th, is Brother’s day. My son, Thomas, has been telling for days that he needs a day just for brothers, where he gets presents and his sisters are nice for him. Today he pushed the issue so now we have a new holiday: Brother’s Day.

Immediately, my youngest daughter insisted on having a Sister’s Day as well, when she can dress like a princess and get presents.

Happy Brother’s Day!

Me on KUED

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Today was the cooking show taping with the broadcast going to happen sometime in August or September. It is part of KUED’s fund-raising campeign (or at least it will be).

I was pretty nervous and to top it off, I got to the show late. I had to hustle my buns in order to prepare my “magic dish” to pull out of the oven to show what it looks like and get everything else ready. Other chefs had shown up hours before to prepare. Me, I had 20 minutes.

Everyone kept telling me not to worry, which I tried not to do. But before I knew it I was in the kitchen with all my stuff ready to be taped.

I don’t remember too much about the actual filming as it was all done in one take. Kim was the name of the hostess and she helped me prepare the dish and she asked me questions.

I do remember her astonishment when I had her pour the cooked bratwurst pieces into the caserrole dish and asked her to pour in the grease as well. Then she asked if I was using low-fat sour cream (which I wasn’t). I don’t think that the dish would really tase good using low-fat stuff. If you are going to eat something delicious, and bad for you, you might as well have the best experience possible.

When the time came for me to pull out the finished product the hostess said “So do we have a finished dish in the oven ready to pull out?” and she knelt down and opened the oven. I had to say “Um no, it’s not in that oven. It’s in my… other oven.” Everyone laughed.

The other funny thing that happened was after the taping was over and I got to chat with the fund raising people. They were really fun and asked me a bunch of questions. One of the questions stumpled me for a second. The lady asked “This is delicous! What would you have with this?” After a second of thinking, I replied “A Coke.” Apparently that was hilarious and the interviewers almost fell over laughing. In fact I thought pretty much everyone laughed. I later found out that it’s a very common question and it really means “what else would you serve with this dish.” A rookie mistake I guess.

It was fun and very stressful. When I get an actual copy of the clip I’ll have to put it on YouTube so everyone can see it.

I’ll be posting photos as soon as I can.

Nat’s Going On TV

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Right now I’m sitting in the studio kitchen at Orson Gygi in Salt Lake. I’m here for my orientation and preparation checklist for the taping of a cooking show tomorrow. In short, I’m going to be on TV.

This will be my 9 minutes of brodcast fame (and 2 hours of taping fame–aparently it takes far longer to tape a show than to brodcast it). I’m nervous.

I just chatted with the lady who will be taped after me. She asked me what I do and I replied “I work with computers.” Her surprise was aparent and asked “You are not a chef?” I laughed. I’m the farthest thing from a chef that I can imagine! I am very nervous as I sit here feeling very… um… out of place.

There are a ton of television people here and some other guest chefs. Some of them are actually wearing chef outfits (or is it a uniform?). Terribly intimidating. I’m going to pee my pants.

So how did this whole thing come about? KUED ran a program where people could submit their potato recipes and they would be published in a KUED cookbook. Several “lucky” people would be selected to come on TV and demonstrate how to cook their dish. I’m not sure if I was lucky or not but I got picked to make one of the potato dishes I made in Germany.

The dish is called Bunte Kartoffelauflauf, which tranlated means colorful potato casserole. Ironically, there is nothing really colorful about it. But it includes many unhealthy ingredients, so common in German dishes, which makes it super tasty.

I have no idea when the actual episode will air but I’ll post information about it when I get it. I’m sure it will become a YouTube meme and I’ll be ranked right up there with Tay Zonday.

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