Monday, February 22, 2010

Puzzle food

We discovered a great trick for eating out with small kids last night. We went to Lisa's Trattoria in Terenure for dinner. We'd been stuck in all weekend with coughs and colds and also me being on call which means I can't leave the house.

Sean was fairly cranky when we got there and we asked for soup for the kids ASAP, while we chose our food. When it arrived, Sean calmed down and ate the soup with hardly a word from him. He got a bit shirty again when it was all gone but then Midori's mussels starter arrived and this is the trick...

Midori gave Sean a few mussels and he set to work on them but mussels aren't the easiest thing to eat. For Sean anyway, there's a good minute of poking around to try and get the mussel out of its shell. Each one is a new puzzle and he quietly sat there solving each one for its little meaty reward. He was completely engrossed in it and when the mussels ran out, he went back and checked every empty shell to see if there was anything left. We ate our food in peace.

I can't think of any other puzzle foods that make kids work for each bite. I'd love to find a few more.

Sean also had a great time with my rigatoni. Each tube fitted nicely on a finger. He ate loads of everything. We also had a visit from a child of the family that run the restaurant. He played with Riona a little and at the end of the meal we got free coffee! I've been here three time and had free stuff twice! Lisa gave us free ice cream when we were there just after Sean was born. I think she likes kids and the little boy had a good time and told us we should come here every day.

Anyway, it was a nice food and plenty of it, although a bit pricey. The recession doesn't seem to have reached their menu yet. I think that explains why they were a bit empty while other restaurants on the same street were pretty busy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Some advice on the Nordic Eco showerhead

I bought a Nordic Eco showerhead from The Cultivate Centre in Dublin on a money-back basis. I got that promise beforehand because at 50 euro, I didn't really fancy trying it and being stuck with something that doesn't work. I'm glad I did. This gadget may well be great but it is completely pointless for my shower.

In the brochure that comes with it, it says it will cut your shower from 22 litres/min down to 9 litres/min but it will still feel like a great shower. Sounds great. What I didn't realise is that my shower does only 4.5 litres/min! With the new shower head attached, nothing much changed and in fact the old shower head was better for that rate of flow.

The moral of the story is, if you're thinking about one of these, get a bucket or a jug or whatever and figure out how many litres/min your shower does before buying anything.

In hindsight I could have worked this out in advance, even without a bucket. It's a 10.5KWh shower. It takes 4000J to heat 1 litre of water by 1 deg C. I need to heat my water to about 40C and let's pretend it's starting at 0C (it's close enough in the winter). So it takes 40C*4000J/C = 160000J to heat 1 litre of my cold water to 40C. A shower that does that once per minute is using 160000J/60s = 2666W. So a 10500W can do that about 4 times per minute, i.e. about 4L/min.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The truth.

Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

I do... hold on, do you want it depth first or breadth first?