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Stash Irish Breakfast Tea in Vancouver BC

August 17th, 2007 update: looks like Choices doesn’t stock it anymore… the search beings anew? :(

December 3rd, 2007 update: it really DOES exist! After a several-month search, I found Stash Irish Breakfast Tea at Choices Markets in New Westminster (Choices At The Crest): 8683 10th Avenue.

First, I e-mailed Stash through its website. In the reply, I was referred to I-D Foods in Coquitlam (135 Glacier Street), which I presume is the retail distributor (that’s probably not the right term, but whatever). So I called up I-D Foods and got some of the best service I’ve ever received in my life. The woman from I-D Foods looked through the order database but couldn’t immediately find the Irish Breakfast Tea variety. She took down my info and called me back the next morning… with a list of possible locations! Case closed!

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I’m always on the lookout for cheap apple juice (thinking of switiching from Sun-Rype to Allen’s), cheap citrus flavour mouthwash (Life brand 1L sometimes on special for $1.60! Take that, Listerine!), wheat-free products (check Choices’ Rice Bakery), strawberry-flavoured soy milk (try any snobby, posh grocery store), and Stash Irish Breakfast Tea. The problem is… the last item on that list apparently cannot be found in British Columbia (based on my research)! Grocery stores where I’ve looked:

Shopper’s Drug Mart
Pharmasave
Save-On Foods
Safeway
Superstore / Extra Foods
London Drugs
Nester’s Market
Choices Markets
Urban Fare
IGA
Buy-Low Foods

Therefore, if you are looking for it, don’t waste your time at the above places. If you’ve found it somewhere, let me know where!

Pic of Stash Irish Breakfast Tea

There’s always this guy, who sells Stash Irish Breakfast Tea on eBay. And, there’s a more accessible (albeit more expensive) Irish Breakfast Tea by Twinings, if brand isn’t an issue for you.

How to stop killing the earth

I’m becoming more and more of an environmentalist every day. Today I discovered that Wendy’s salads come in recyclable containers, but Wendy’s doesn’t have a recycling receptacle for the containers. So I took the containers home to recycle so that they wouldn’t end up in the garbage. Next I’ll have to come up with a plan to get Wendy’s to do something about this. I don’t want to pick on just Wendy’s, but wow, they are awful with this stuff. Plastic spoons and forks in individually plastic wrappers, heaters blaring on a summer day…

(Update: a reader pointed out correctly that I unfairly singled out Wendy’s. The other fast food chains are no better.)

Let’s actually take action. Let’s stop being ignorant just because it’s easier to do.

Humans seem to have a natural inclination to destroy themselves, others, and the planet (co2 emissions? smoking? greed?). Is it because of willful ignorance? A mentality of “out of sight, out of mind”? Well, whether you need monetary, ethical, or purely social reasons for being more environmentally aware, the rewards are all there.

Here are some simple things you can do to have a “greener” house.

Recycling
Plastics are a tricky issue. Apparently those recycling codes don’t necessarily mean that your municipality will recycle that type of plastic. Luckily, though, mine accepts all codes of plastic (1 through 7). Also, shrink wraps on CDs and other such media can be recycled (they fall under code 4)!

Water
Try not to care so much about your lawn unless you’re trying to play a baseball game on it… or try not to wash your car so often (heck, wait for it to rain, then head out and scrub!) — in the summer, water usage can account for 40% of total water use (source)

I’m not sure where this post is going. Maybe it’ll slowly evolve.

Origin of the expression “don’t get your panties in a knot”

There are seemingly many variations of this phrase, such as “don’t get your knickers in a knot” and “don’t get your underwear in a bunch”. One might wonder, who in the world came up with this? After all, how would one get one’s underwear twisted in the first place — putting them on too fast? the washing machine did it? And is one walking around all uncomfortable with a wedgie, or is one simply having a difficult time putting on his or her underwear?

So I was hoping for a great story behind this expression (such as the theories behind the expression “white elephant gifts“) but apparently it was just some silliness conjured up by The Basil Brush Show, a British television program that started in the late 60s. From there, the Australians turned the original expression “don’t get your knickers in a twist” into “don’t get your knickers in a knot” (source). Then, of course, the Americans implemented the “panties” term.

Oh, and if the origin described above is wrong, please tell me the real story in the comments to this post!

How to find out what kind of RAM your computer (notebook / laptop or desktop) uses

Often, increasing the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer is the best way to increase its speed (well, along with blocking some programs from starting every time the operating system loads… those sneaky, awful programs!). However, I’ve found it quite confusing with all these new types of RAM as to which type is the one I need. PC2700, SODIMM, DDR2, 200 Pin… what in the world does that stuff mean? I’m not geek enough yet to even want to figure that out, but I know that it’s a bloody hassle to end up buying RAM that’s incompatible with your computer!

If you’ve bought a pre-packaged computer (i.e. if you didn’t build it yourself) here’s a very handy site that can tell you what type of memory your computer has. It has practically every model known to man! I’d been looking for something like this since… forever! Once you’ve found the type of memory you need, you can probably head over to eBay and find something cheap.

If you have a Windows computer, you could also try using the program System Information for Windows, as discussed in this post.

Oatmeal cookies recipe

These cookies taste pretty good, so the basic recipe must be of some value. Truthfully, though, the ingredient amounts don’t look that healthy (some people might wish to reduce the sugar and butter).

I stole this recipe from the back of an oatmeal package. I’m putting this online because… the paper that I wrote it on is getting a bit wrinkled and I’d really like a reliable place to store the recipe. This is the first post on Peter’s Useful Crap that is primarily for Peter!

And yeah, I know it’s the easiest recipe you’ve ever seen. But hey, I’m not exactly a baker. If you haven’t noticed, most of my posts are really nerdy.

I’ve made these cookies about 5 times in my life, which is 4 times more than I’ve ever made any other baked goods. Maybe I should get a bit daring and start baking other stuff.

250mL butter
125mL sugar
250mL brown sugar
2 eggs
10mL vanilla
300mL flour
5mL baking soda
2mL salt
625mL oatmeal

For extra fun:
250mL chocolate chips
250mL raisins

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter, brown sugar, sugar. Note: butter is a lot easier to cream at room temperature! Add eggs and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt. Add two mixtures together.
Add oatmeal, plus whatever extras you have. White chocolate and milk chocolate chips together taste goooood.
Drop the clumps onto greased cookie sheets. Yeah, this recipe has a lot of butter. You could probably use less.
Bake for 8-9 minutes for softer cookies, and 10-12 minutes for harder cookies. Yum yum.
Makes about 40 cookies.