It took three attempts to have an adventure this past week.
Adventure Attempt #1. In a desperate attempt to avoid going grocery shopping in the snow after coming back from a business trip, I ate my backup adventure. I had an untested package of Chia pasta (yes made with Salvia hispanica, or Chia. Think Chia pet.
Hey wait – I can’t believe Wikipedia doesn’t have a single image of a Chia pet on its Chia pet page. Try this link, which showcases the variety of Chia pets out there, including*. Chia Homer Simpson, Chia Obama, Chia Duck Dynasty…)
Anyway, I had bought this pasta for an emergency – for when I had so many deadlines at work that I wouldn’t be able to meet my weekly adventures. But a snow storm also counts as an emergency. Unfortunately, chia pasta tastes just like pasta. It didn’t seem fair that that would count as trying something new.
Adventure Attempt #2 consisted of trying, on a very cold day, to go see David Datuna’s Portrait of America exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Consisting of an American flag covered with a hundred plus lenses from glasses, one views this “portrait” using Google Glass. Staff train you on the glasses, and then as you view the portrait, up pops different photos, text, audio, or video about American history and culture. The flag is also interactive, asking questions I believe, and your replies are placed into the social media database. (You sign a waiver for that part).
I wanted primarily to see what Google Glass was like, knowing that the future of our world is going to be totally transformed by it and similar tools. (Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End presents one excellent and scary scenario). But, apparently we still today depend on a physical wait to see a digital exhibit. I was told the long line would take two hours. I hoped it would go faster, though, as people kept dropping out of the line, so I waited, read, and wrote email. When my battery died an hour and a half later, I looked up, and I was only one third of the way through the line. And apparently I was also sick, having by that time chills, fever, sore throat, and coughing. I couldn’t wait another three hours, so I left. I will have to wait for the mass market version of Google Glass.
(By the way, Datuna was there looking very happy.)
Adventure Attempt #3 – On the way home, I finally went to my local grocery store, which happens to be organic (love this). There I picked up a small bag of dandelion roots, which are cooking on the stove right now. Online research shows dandelion roots (not just the leaves) are considered wild edibles, and the simplest recipe says to boil them like carrots, and add butter, salt, and pepper. So that is what I will try. It actually smells pretty good right now, kindof sweet. However, I am going to eat only a small amount, because I also found online that the roots are used as an herbal remedy, used to treat inflammation, joint pain, gallstones, liver problems, gas, and a ton of other stuff. It also acts as a diuretic. Fyi, dandelion roots are recommended as a coffee substitute, which means that people must drink quite a bit of this stuff at any one time, and if it did have the medical impact it is supposed to have, boy, are they are really experimenting with their bodies. However, WebMD and many other sources say there’s not enough testing to know if it is effective as a remedy for anything yet. Anyway, a small spoonful for me tonight.
And actually, its not bad, especially with butter. It tastes a little bit like parsnips/potatoes, with a nutty flavor, also somewhat of a coffee flavor, but not in a bad way (I hate coffee). I wouldn’t want a large serving at any one time, but it is definitely kindof good. (yes, I do note the irony of those paired adjectives.)
Finally, success… (well, if I survive the night.)
*Footnote: the Chia Pet image is a thumbnail, so use falls within fair use; but I hope to take a picture of a chia pet box and replace here next time I go to Target.
**Second caveat, I don’t really plan to, or recommend experimenting with weird plants – but this was in the grocery store, for goodness sake.