2014.11.26 – Happy Birthday to Me

Another birthday?! They are seriously coming too fast these days and how the heck did I get this old already? My mom warned me that the older one gets the faster time goes by. It’s so true! Oh well.

I had submitted a pull request the night before with everything the way Peter had asked but I forgot that he prefers the commits to be one large commit so he asked me to rebase. I got that done, submitted again and this time all was well! Finally that one was done. I really struggled with the form validation stuff but I learned a lot. I told Peter I would try to work on the next bug but with UA coming up it would have to be nights and weekends. I think he thought I was joking.

Alena came over with Tiberias, Rialla and Anya. I miss them so much and they live fairly close now. I definitely need to schedule more time to be with them. We played a lot and then walked over to La Bonita for some lunch. They make a really good vegan fajita burrito. After lunch we stopped in to Blend and got some drinks. I got a spicy soy chai, Alena got a coffee and the kids had hot chocolate. We walked back home and Tiberias wanted to watch something so he watched several episodes of Curious George. The kids were getting tired and it was getting late so Alena packed them up and headed home.

Thanksgiving was the next day and since my mom is far away in Arizona it was going to be up to me to make the pumpkin pie. It’s one of my favorite things and something I always wanted for my birthday instead of a cake. She would always make me four of them! I really don’t like making the crust at all but a friend of mine shared her video in which she uses a food processor to make it. It couldn’t hurt to try so I did it her way and it was a breeze! Thanks, Frankie!

The two pies were in the oven when Taylor and Delaney came over to make an apple pie. Wayne helped Delaney and made more crust. It worked just as well again. I guess the real test will be when we eat it but the dough was nice and very easy to work with so I think it will be ok. UPS showed up with a huge pile of boxes from ThinkGeek and I assumed some of it was for me from Andrew but what the heck did he buy, all of ThinkGeek?? There were at least seven boxes. It would have to wait until after dinner.

We ordered a few pizzas from Handsome since nobody really wanted to cook. They only had a tiny bit of kale so used that on one. They made us three really good pizzas! One had a butternut squash sauce, caramelized onion, pepitas, and some sort of greens. Yum!

We were just finishing up when Jason and Alice came over. We were going to watch Galaxy Quest. Alice handed me a card she made and it was so sweet!

2014-11-26 20.34.29

Alice was happy she hadn’t missed me opening all of the boxes. Andrew brought them over and handed me his knife. They were all pretty light and he was also confused about why there were so many. I opened the first one and there was some sort of liquid filled bag inside. I had no idea what it was but then he showed me the most amazing thing. He clicked this little metal disk inside the liquid and it immediately started to crystallize and heat up. It was a reusable heat pack! Cool! That kind of explained the multiple boxes. He ordered me three sets of ten and it seems they are only allowed to put five per box. He also got me some Star Trek knee socks and a 3″ micro usb cable.

We watched the movie while I read all about these reusable heat packs. They contain super saturated sodium acetate liquid. It remains a liquid until the small metal disk inside is “clicked” by bending it back and forth. This creates a metal on metal reaction that causes one or more tiny particles of the metal to break off. These particles of metal generate nucleation centers which are like tiny nests where a crystal can form. Once this happens the solution crystallizes into tiny needles of sodium acetate. Heat was required to dissolve the crystals so this heat is released during the exothermic crystallization reaction and there you go, instant hand warmer! Fascinating!

Today I learned about exothermic crystallization of sodium acetate.