Monday, December 24, 2007

Gingerbread Resturant

My families Second Annual Gingerbread house contest between my brother and I will be taking place soon. This year it will be the day after Christmas, and this year he is the one who has to travel with his house.

The theme for this year is "restaurants" and this is also the first year I decided to make mine all from scratch. We only have one rule so far, it must be 100% edible. I decided to go all from scratch this year since this time I have a kitchen. I learned a couple of lessons that should aid me in next years gingerbread construction.

1. Measurements are Important
In my first batch of gingerbread dough I learned there is a difference in teaspoons and table spoons. Also, gingerbread is not the most accurate material to work with. For the sizing of the pieces I eye-balled the whole project. I did pretty good considering, but I think a ruler would have made it that much better.

2. Thick Gingerbread Cooks Slower
Maybe this is like a measurement problem, but I think next year I will focus on making all my pieces closer to the same thickness when rolling them out. Also, cooking smaller pieces with larger pieces is not a great idea. I plan to try and keep similar size gingerbread pieces together when in the oven.

3. Painting Icing
Using a paint brush to decorate seemed like an awesome idea. The lady on TV said it doesn't even leave brush strokes when it dries. Things never seem to work like they do on TV.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Collar Colors

This morning I wore a shirt I had pretty much forgot I had. There were a number of brand new, tag toting, shirts I packed away and put into storage. During the move we took everything out of storage. It was like Christmas all over. Today, since it's casual Friday, I wore one of my new shirts. It's blue and soft, a tad bit on the small side. Being blue made me ponder whether I was a blue collar worker or a white collar worker. I turned to Wikipedia for specifics on this subject.

I was surprised to learn there are many colored collared workers. White and blue I already had a decent understanding of. The reason I was curious is because my job has elements of both white and blue collar work.

Example that fit into white collar category:
  • I primarily sit while working
  • I work in an air conditioned environment
  • I do a lot of paperwork
Examples that fit into blue collar category:
  • Fixing computers is quite manual, it's not an IT job
  • Computers are dirty (dust + smokers = me washing my hands a lot).
  • I earn my wages hourly
I learned there is a gold, gray, pink, and green collared worker too. Most of those have clear definitions except for gray. Gray can be a person that works beyond retirement years, a person that does not fit into blue or white collar categories, or a person that fits into both. I guess, according to the omniscient Wikipedia, I best fit into the gray collar definition.

I'm not a big fan of the gray collar definition because it is so broad. Perhaps I'll be a gray collared worked all my life, only I'll find myself fit into the same category by one of the other definitions.