Savvy Lifestyle

The Race to Space
July 31, 2008, 7:13 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags: ,
Who would have thought that we could take a commercial flight to space within our lifetime?  It definitely wasn’t ever in my realm of possibilities until I started seeing this stuff from Virgin.  They’ll fly you a little over 62 miles up in the air (62 miles is considered the “boundary of space”).  You’ll be allowed to feel weightlessness for up to 6 minutes.  They’ve already sold seats on the first flights starting at $200,000, but after the first 500 passengers it will be reduced to $20,000. Those rumored to already have tickets include William Shatner, Philippe Starck, Dave Navorro, Paris HIlton, Stephen Hawking, and more. 
They’re using the existing SpaceShipOne technology and creating their own SpaceShipTwo for Virgin Galactic.  There will be room for  2 pilots and 6 passengers on each flight.  They’re requiring 50 test flights of the ship before tourists are allowed to go on and that’s scheduled to start in 2009.  The intent is to have regular flights going by 2010.  Both the test flights and the initial tourist flights are set to take off from the Mojave Spaceport in New Mexico.
Interestingly, they do actually have some competition in this field from other companies like EADS Astrium, Rocketplane Limited, Space Adventures, and Benson Space Company. 
I think I might have something new to add to my list of things to do before I die!

Kohler gone Karbon
July 30, 2008, 10:02 pm
Filed under: design | Tags: , ,

The Karbon “Articulating Kitchen Faucet” by Kohler may not be new to some of you.  I’ve had my eye on it for quite some time now, but I have yet to have the perfect job for it or see it installed.  The fascinating thing about the Karbon faucet is that it has 5 pivot points which gives it a unique range of motion to allow for those akward and hard to reach positions.   It also gives you the options of stream or spray; can be installed with a low flow aerator to conserve water; has a reach of over 13″ in every direction; and let’s be honest….it looks pretty slick.

This may sound weird and I’m not try to dis the Karbon because it’s more than functional and has a very unique design, but for some reason it kind of brings me back to 1986 and the movie Short Circuit!  It makes me wonder if this character was part of the designers inspiration??  I’ll let you be the judge 🙂


 Kelsey – Vail, CO

Habitat for Humanity REstore
July 29, 2008, 7:49 pm
Filed under: environmental issues | Tags: ,

Do you ever wonder where what you should do with those old kitchen cabinets or sinks when you are done remodeling?  Now there is a great resource where you can donate your old materials and they will find a good home.  Habitat for Humanity is now providing a great “fundraiser” for their cause.  They will come pick up your “waste” and re-sell it in their store. They will accept anything from old kitchen cabinets, drawer pulls or even light fixtures. The profits of the gently used items are then used for their home build projects.  Next time you are about to swing that sledge hammer to start a new remodeling project, think again where those old parts are going to go and don’t let them end up in a landfill.  Check one out in your city today!!

Alison, KC, MO

Building Greener
July 27, 2008, 8:46 pm
Filed under: environmental issues | Tags: , ,

In many of my posts I have mentioned my neighborhood where we built our first home last fall.  Well, at a press conference last month, it was announced that two homes currently under construction were going green!  Now these homes are not 100% sustainable, but will considerably more energy efficient than an average home.  They will actually qualify for the Gold level of the NAHB scale which is the highest level.  These two homes are the first to be built in the area and I am so proud to have them right here.  The homes will be done this fall in time for our local parade of homes tour.  This will be a great opportunity for people to see that being green doesn’t have to be weird or ultra expensive.  I hope this will trigger more people to consider taking the step and try to be more efficient in their own homes.  I will keep you posted on the progress this homes will make and hopefully there will be more to follow.

Alison, KC, MO

Eat your View

SF is a foodie town.  Before moving here, I didn’t know much about wine or the pleasures of cooking and pairing different courses together to create the perfect combination.  The closest I’d come to this culture was really my time in France.  In Europe, in general, people seemed to focus much more time and thought on what they were going to eat, how they would prepare it, and who they would share it with.  They take their time with meals and enjoy the great conversation it generates.  It’s been a pleasure to discover the same sentiment here in San Francisco.  You’ll find very few fast food joints in the city and chain restaurants are practically nonexistent.  Farmers markets are plentiful and most menus at restaurants change with the seasons. 

This local culture really got me thinking a lot more about where my food comes from and what I put into my body.  As a result, I picked up “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, by Michale Pollan.  I highly recommend it.  He evaluates 4 different meals and tracks their entire life from the farm to the plate.  The 4 meals include: an industrial/fast food meal, the whole foods version of an organic meal, a locally produced/ farmers market meal/ and finally a meal that’s been hunted, gathered, and foraged for directly by the person eating it.

The story behind each meal fascinated me and really made me take another look at what I eat.  Just like buying recycled products to support the green movement, you can make a statement with what you eat as well.  “Eat your view” is a new bumper sticker seen often in Europe now and I think its something that Americans should start considering a bit more.  I’m not implying that everyone become a vegetarian and only eat from the farmer’s market.  That’s very unrealistic, but just think about things a bit more before you buy them.  Look at what’s in season, how local it is, how many chemical products did they add to it?  Is it healthy?  How do they treat the workers, animals, and farmland on their farms?

Pollan says in his book that this change in the market will “require a new kind of eater.  One who regards finding, preparing, and preserving food as one of the pleasures of life rather than a chore.” One whose sense of taste has ruined him for a Big Mac, and whose sense of place has ruined him for shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart. ”

It’s the same mission as the Slow Food Movement started back in 1989 in Italy.  The intent is “to remind a generation of industrial eaters of their connections to farmers and farms, and to the plants and animals we depend on.”  The movement focuses on “fighting industrial eating by recalling people to the infinitely superior pleasures of traditional foods enjoyed communally.”   The founder Carlo Petrini says, “The consumer becomes a coproducer- his eating contributes to the survival of landscapes and species and traditional foods that would otherwise succumb to the fast-food ideal of “one world, one taste.”

They insist that doing the right thing is actually the most pleasurable thing as well.  Just some food for thought…


Only in San Francisco
July 22, 2008, 7:45 pm
Filed under: fun!, san francisco | Tags: ,

This weekend I stopped by “the store” at 826 Valencia in the Mission.  No name, no sign, no nothing… I’d never been there before, but my mom was in town and she suggested we see what was inside.  Lo and behold, we discovered a pirate store.  Yes, a genuine pirate store, this wasn’t some  hokey costume shop, this place is serious.  I found small cages to hold Tinkerbell, lacey pirate cuffs, a bucket of lard (there’s a scoop inside- you serve yourself…), and many, many, more treasures.  The website really doesn’t do it justice.  It’s definitely something you have to experience in person.  You simply must sit for awhile in the fish theatre and you’ll most likely get “mopped” before you leave (I did, but I won’t ruin the fun for those of you who haven’t had the privilege of experiencing it yet). 

And if all that isn’t interesting enough for you, they have a whole series of free literary workshops for kids.  I was particularly intrigued by the Guerilla Postcard Poetry class where they give you cameras to explore the neighborhood.  You come back and write short poems with your “found” images and then create a postcard out of it all.  If only I were somewhere between the ages of 6 and 18…

I was left wondering how in the world this place makes money to survive.  I’m pretty sure the majority of their income comes from books they publish themselves.  There’s quite a long list of publications to choose from.  Actually, it says all the profits from the pirate store go towards the writing center that hosts all the free workshops.  So, when you buy that glass eye that you can’t live without, at least you’re supporting a good cause.

Rebecca_ SF

It’s a boy!!!!!!!
July 21, 2008, 9:01 am
Filed under: who we are | Tags:

On Wednesday, July 16 baby boy Cade Allan entered the world!!!

Congratulations Jackie….he’s so handsome!