Jephir Treks America: Bumbling Through Central America

A 6 week adventure in gastronomica, sights, and observation.

Friday, November 18, 2005

A photo mon(-woman-and-child)tague

New headgear. Professionally designed by Zephir & Co.

Chicken Pot Pies, huge salad, potatoes au gratin

Trusty bear? Trusty coffee!

Who's excited?




Who's excited?

Strange growth on the side of the face there. Didn't think they allowed the homeless into children's areas...

Lower extremities shot

Zephir shouts with glee as her arm expands to gargantuan proportions





fava-rrific! (and spinach too)

Some call it blood soup. I call it Tuscan Red Cabbage Soup. But it sure was some good blood soup.

Why yes, I'd love a little spinach with my blood soup.

That's one lucky board

Oiling up our shelves to be

Banker's boxes can be more than just storage devices - they make great levels too

Pay no attention to the yellow mug. Or the yellow glove. Or the many cables coming from the wall.

Organizing woes

"Yes, I'll take the one on the end there..."

Tada! (the end)

The Problem With Hubbert's Peak (as seen today)

Been giving a bit of thought lately to the idea of "energy descent" - basically that as stocks of petrol diminish, humans will be forced to come up with a way of living with less total energy available to them. Now I know that there are plenty of arguments about alternative sources of energy such as solar or wind or even nuclear, but petrol remains the major source of energy in the global economy. However, the thing I can't get about people who create websites like this one: is that they don't take into account shale oil. Terrible as the strip mining/processing/retorting/refining is of shale oil, it seems as though the trillion or so barrels of shale oil should act as a cushion since it "only" takes a good $60-70/barrel to produce oil from shale. If you believe these folks: then it wouldn't even cost that much. So my conclusion? Imminent disaster isn't going to happen anytime soon (i.e. within 10 years), and since the U.S. is thought to sit on almost 1 trillion barrels of shale oil, it might be in an even better spot in terms of world energy than it is today. Strange.

Unfortunately, that only gives me more time to ponder the odd concept of "energy descent."

X-mas ideas

Feel free to send this one over my way for Cheesus's b-day.

In other news, the Jephir is heading back to Valley View for a few days of rest, relaxation and clothing-optional fun.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Road to Boulder this morning. Damn chilly, if sunny (as usual). Couldn't find me gloves, so I thought I was going to lose everything from my elbow down. If you want to see what it feels like, just put your hand out the window of your car the next 20-something degree day and leave it there for 15 minutes. At least I don't live here.

In other news, seems its getting a touch cooler in Hell.

It's like revenge, you see... easily become like your enemy in order to defeat him. Sad when your enemy supposedly embodies all you oppose in this world. Here's a quote from a washington post analysis:

Today, amazingly, America finds itself embroiled in the same kind of debate that Iran--one of the three nation's Bush admonished as a part of the "axis of evil"-- had three years ago when hardliners in the conservative Guardian Council repeatedly vetoed a version of a bill banning the torture of prisoners that had been pushed through the parliament by moderate backers of President Mohammad Khatami.

Read the full text here.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sick to my stomach

I don't really understand where the debate is about torture. The idea that at some point soon the US will make it legal to torture people is beyond anything I would have believed a few years ago.

Here's a quote from a New Yorker article as to why torture doesn't make sense from an intelligence standpoint, one that Senator McCain has been attempting to explain to others:

Ten hours after landing in Jordan, Arar said, he was driven to Syria, where interrogators, after a day of threats, “just began beating on me.” They whipped his hands repeatedly with two-inch-thick electrical cables, and kept him in a windowless underground cell that he likened to a grave. “Not even animals could withstand it,” he said. Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say. “You just give up,” he said. “You become like an animal.”

South Carolina 2000 primary

The differences come back yet again...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Biking around Boulder

I had heard stories of Boulder biking before I moved out to this land of perpetual sun and endless plains. But actually riding about day in and day out has made me realize how wonderful a place this is to ride one's bike. The streets are wide and well paved, the paths beautiful and under-used, the drivers (moderately-)tolerant. Last weekend I got a taste of what makes Boulder really exciting - the foothills. From Gunbarrel to Boulder is comprised of mostly flat roads with the occasional bump, but once you get closer to the foothills the grade increases quickly and a New Englander like me learns a bit about biking at high altitude. Zephir and I haven't managed to completely avoid riding in cars with gas, but I'm pretty sure we only ride to and from Boulder 2-3 times a week, which is pretty good, since I bike there at least 3 if not 5 times weekly. Of course, it's a bit easier to do that kind of bike riding when you're not employed. Z and I have been trying to keep ourselves busy by cooking dinner, renovating parts of the apartment we're squatting in, and catching up on our reading. Unfortunately, I can't help but read about permaculture gardening and agro-forestry, which leaves me chomping at the bit since we're living in a two bedroom apartment. Zephir is looking for schools she/we can attend - Fort Collins is looking more and more promising, although who knows what might happen?

Let's see how Zephir and Rowan work together to plant this avocado seed. Looks like fun!

Where'd that smile go to?

Aaah, family life. Furrowed brows and exasperated expressions. Nothing like a Murphy-Plume collaboration to brighten everyone's day.

"What is that?"


"Is it melting? Ugh..."

"Is that ice cream?" "Nope, it's scary cheese!"

"Why are we eating scary cheese?" It's cheese and bread night!

Denver Recommendations

Recently found a website called Chowhound that has all kinds of exciting recommendations for different parts of the US. Inspired, we put together our own list of restaurants worth visiting the next time you're in Denver and crave an eclectic assortment of cuisines. Here it goes:

Domo Restaurant is a restaurant, museum and martial arts school. It serves great country style Japanese food that is "bowl-centered." More than a culinary experience, lunch is your best bet because of cheaper prices with the same menu.

Saigon Bowl is a tasty vietnamese place reminiscent of various vietnamese soup restaurants I've been to. Think Pho Pasteur if you've been to Boston. Inexpensive, their rice combinations are good, and obviously their soups are great. I always get a couple Vietnamese coffees...
Saigon Bowl
333 S. Federal Blvd.

Seoul Korean Barbeque: a great little korean place that's a bit out of the way, but has excellent barbequed beef and excellent beef tartar. Every meal get a wide array of pickles!
12091 E Iliff Ave
Aurora, CO 80014-1135
(303) 671-0003

Little India has great breads, chai, and mango lasis. Supposedly their lunch buffet is great, but have only eaten dinner there.
330 E 6th Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 871-9777

Mataam Fez is a great moroccan place that has belly dancing, a price fix menu, you get to sit on the floor, and tea poured from the heavens. Oh, and the food is tasty as well.
4609 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 399-9282

Dozens restaurant serves a great breakfast, although there's often a long wait, but it is definitely worth it:
236 W 13th Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 572-0066

Bump & Grind is another great breakfast place. In addition to amazing food, if you go on Saturday or Sunday you'll find the waitstaff dressed in drag...
439 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 861-4841

Stella's Coffeehouse is a place to get a cup of coffee, it is located in a house and is close to Denver University so it has that comfortable study atmosphere.
1890 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 777-8828

Across the street from Stella's is a very tasty sushi restaurant named Sushi Den, but the prices are high and the waitstaff is pompous.

Pints Pub has great food and over 50 scotches to try. They even have cask beer on tap! (if you're in the mood for warm, flat beer;)
221 W 13th Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 534-7543

Pete's Kitchen is a good late night spot so you're not stuck going to denny's after spending some time at the local pubs. Here's the website:

Jerusalem is the other latenight place to get shwarma and gyros after 2 am.
1890 E Evans Ave
Denver, CO
(303) 777-8828

Jax Fish House has a great fish selection and has rather inventive cuisine that uses fresh fruits and vegetables.
1539 17th St
Denver, CO
(303) 292-5767

There you have it. Everything you might ever want to eat. (More soon)

Monday, November 07, 2005

Menu For November 7th-13th

Veggie Sushi

Queso De Mano Goat Cheese
Haystack Peak (soft goat cheese)
Leek & Shitake Mushroom Baked Egg
Black Forest Ham
Musk Melon

Goat Cheese Souffle`
Seared Rainbow Chard

Chicken Breasts with Green Sauce
Radicchio Salad
Pearl Barley

Chicken Pot Pies
Yet to be named Veggie-table

Ligurian Vegetable Soup

Bacon, Eggs and Prussian Rye Toast Points
(who eats dinner?)

Feel free to email for recipes...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

A visit to Haystack Mountain


A chicken and some friendly dairy goats at Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy. Be careful, they'll eat you! (or your hair, or your pants or your fingers...)

One of the more stylish hairstyles we encountered.

Elvis. Pure Elvis.

Typical picture of the kitchen

Soon to be Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup with Queso Fresco, Smoky Steamed Kale and a few local beers from Odell Brewery to wash it all down.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Yep, that preeeetty much sums up where I'm at these days...

You can see our priorities from the ratio of brewed chicory to sweetened condensed milk...

Nacho night!

more excitement than during our last presidential election!

mmmm, cheese

Dinner, again

Jalepeno Chicken W/ Olives

Gotta seal in the flavor!

Seared Rainbow Chard

Voila! Add some quinoa and a black bean and pumpkin salad and you've got a meal fit for a king!

Here's lovely Zephir with her walnut shortbread cake