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Sunday, 03 April 2016


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On your cars. Triumph TR4A, IRS was a good one but the TR6 looked even better. They finally got it right with the TR8 and then went out of business.
Always liked the Saab Sonnett. The VW/Porsche 914 with the 6 cylinder engine handled like a dream. Much better than the 911 and cost so much less.
On your salads - try some of the high end extra virgin olive oils in the dressing. Varying flavors from different regions make for a taste experience you may enjoy.

Favorite salad additive: lentils. Easy to cook but also very easy to open a can. All other beans/peas/legumes as well. All delicious, loaded with protein, satisfying, and healthy.

I'm big on salads too. Plant-based foods are nutrient dense; animal-based foods are calorie dense. I go cruelty-free.

[So tell me something. If you buy dried beans in bags at the grocery store, then soak the beans overnight, can you just throw them in a salad and eat them like that? Or do they need to be cooked first? How about beans from tin cans? --Mike]

Not bad, but speaking of spiders- I can't keep my eyes offa this guy:


Ha, my wife wants to buy a Miata, but you are right, a used one very much like the one you sold.

Regarding salads, I have bad childhood memories of my dad forcing us to eat his unholy creations that he would keep in the fridge for days. Soup keeps better. We've switched to Vegan after my doctor said maybe try that before statins to lower my cholesterol. It has worked wonders on my LDL level, but I miss the meat. We take occasional meatcations like for birthdays and such (tomorrow is my wife's birthday and she has requested fried chicken, whoo hoo). Anyway, since eating 97% vegan I eat less salads. Not sure why. I tend to cook something Chinese or Indian where there are many veggie only dishes that taste good.

If you want to maximize your salad nutrition you might find this book helpful (see link below). It's all about which foods have the most nutrient impact in the grocery store. There are some surprising findings, like green onions and granny smith apples being real powerhouses.


Raspberries and avocados.

Chick pea and lentil salad. Chick peas and lentils have to be digested together at the same time for your body to build a required protein from the two of them.

Add feta cheese, sliced mushroom and peppers (red, orange, yellow, no matter), maybe celery, lettuce or spinach or whatever you like, then an olive oil/balsamic/dijon dressing.

re the Miata a girl's car - I always thought that until my 17 year old son informed me the (early models especially) are much sought after by young men to modify and "stance". He finally bought one after years of yearning and, most baffling to me, rejected a comparable deal on the much cleaner family BMW Z3... stating "dad, the BMW is a chick car". go figure !


I don't know about the nutritional value, but if you want to pass yourself off as an exotic gourmet, nasturtium flowers and leaves add a peppery and aromatic flavour to soups and salads. The flavour of pansy flowers is subtle, but a few floating petals make a peasant soup look fit for the aristocracy.

And the great thing is that both these flowers are dead easy to grow.

What really cheeses me off is that the universal insult is to suggest that something is or has to do with women.

I'd drive the hell out of that new Miata, or better yet, Fiat's Abarth 124 Spyder version of the current ragtop.

FWIW, the MX-5 (Miata) is the most-raced car in the world.

[Yeah, exactly. What's wrong with women liking something? Never has fazed me in the least. I don't understand "macho anxiety." --Mike]

I would recommend getting into the world of balsamico -- a little dash of it alters the salad and there's a great variety of balsamico to sample.

To top a salad, buy a microplane and use it to grate fine shavings of a hard cheese with an excellent aroma, such as manchego, pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano. The shaving are very thin and a little cheese goes a long way. Big on flavor. Small on fat and calories.

Sad to say I'm not a fan of the new MX5 as I think they've moved ever further from the concept of the original.

I think that the best were the MK1 or at a pinch the MK2. After that... no thanks.

I would have thought you'd be excited by this new mirrorless car: http://www.businessinsider.com/i-drove-bmws-new-prototype-sports-car-and-it-felt-truly-bizarre-2016-1

One of our regular summer meals is smoked salmon and chickpea salad. Ingredients: cold smoked salmon (though we've added hot smoked fish before), chickpeas (tinned), dried cranberries ("craisins"), cucumber, lettuce, mayo, cheddar cheese, tomato, walnut (toasted is nice). Simple, but a big bowl of that is a nice meal for us. Substitute, add, subtract as desired naturally (or depending what's in the larder).

Consider picking up a half sheet baking pan or 3...


Then you can easily roast most vegetables on the pan after cutting them up to be the a bit larger than you want in your salad (because they shrink in the roasting). This will add a bit of depth to the flavor of the salad, but is dead easy to do.

Oven: 350. Put things on pan with a bit of oil (+ salt and pepper if you want). Bake until they are brown, usually not much longer than 10min.


This scheme also works well for fish. But that's more like cooking.

Also, re: dried beans.

No you still have to cook them. The Indian people use pressure cookers to quickly cook chic peas and related to a nice softness.

That Miata pairs perfectly with the Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition.

There is a device our trainer recommended for out Berner. It's called Tri-Tronics Sport Basic G3 (I think the company has been acquired by Garmin). It is a device that at the push of a button gives the dog a small shock from the receiver mounted on a special collar. It is used in training hunting dogs to come when they are well out of range of sight or sound but can also be useful for basic recall/obedience training. It really works but the owner should first undergo training by a good dog trainer in how to properly use it.

Other than that, I suggest finding a good dog trainer and putting both dogs (and you) through extensive training classes. How to find one requires a lot of research and word of mouth recommendations. Good luck!


I'd have thought you'd be lusting for the Tesla 3!
On salads, I like crunch. Radishes, celery, carrot, coursely chopped or sliced. Cheeses like Gorgonzola and feta are good and add a little "zap" to your greens. Of course there's tomatoes and avocado,- and nuts, raisins and cranberries. Yeah, salads are fun!
Ah! I almost forgot. Cucumbers, with skins, thinly sliced.

Along with everone elses good ideas. Capers, pesto sauce and please take the time to learn how to make your own vainegrette.

Ah, I forgot the dressing. My wife makes a fabulous watercress dressing. It's watercress, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, mayonnaise, and a touch of water in a blender. It's great, and it keeps well.

marinated artichoke hearts and jalapeno stuffed olives.

"So tell me something. If you buy dried beans in bags at the grocery store, then soak the beans overnight, can you just throw them in a salad and eat them like that? Or do they need to be cooked first? How about beans from tin cans? --Mike"

Definitely not. They have to be cooked.

From cans, just open the can, rinse, drain, and serve. Easy.

Lentils and black-eyed peas are some of the only legumes that can be cooked easily without soaking first. If you want to cook beans in a hurry, use a pressure cooker.

Do start with canned and see if you want to take it further. If you decide to cook your own, start with lentils; they're easy. You can make a week's supply at a time.

A can of peas is a nice thing too. Or defrost frozen peas in a microwave.

[FYI the notion that you have to eat complementary amino acids at the same time to get complete proteins was debunked years ago: http://www.forksoverknives.com/the-myth-of-complementary-protein/]


We got that wild weather in WI on Saturday. While driving from madison to the Wisconsin Dells for a soccer tournament we encountered whiteout conditions. At the tournament we would have 10-15 minutes if blizzard conditions and then 10-15 minutes of sunshine, which would repeat a number of times. A group of us parents stood behind the subs to provide a wind block. Apparently in earlier games the ball would get lost in the whiteout conditions. Fortunately today was a lot better, with temps near 70°F. Wild weather is gong to be the new norm.

You might like to add hemp hearts to your salad. They're protein and nutrient rich and taste pretty good as a complement to other flavors. I liked them on rice cakes with almond butter and honey, as well.

For dressing try drizzling on a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a teaspoon of white balsamic (or other) vinegar, salt and pepper to taste; much better than any commercial dressing.
Adding avocado will add creaminess to the salad.
Flavorful (heirloom) tomatoes meld deliciously with the dressing.
Fresh herbs like basil, dill, or oregano, cut with scissors onto the salad before tossing make a big difference.
As others have suggested a minimal amount of parmesan or romano makes a big difference.
I love salads and I'm glad you are too!

The classic Miata owner response to, "I thought that was a girl's car," is, of course, "Why yes. YOUR girlfriend likes it."

And then sometimes you have to run.

Its being thought of as a "graybeard's car" may actually be worse. But then again, with the top down, who cares?

My 1989 MX-5 has just enough room in the boot (trunk for you Northern Hemispherians) for a large salad.

Oh. I loved, loved, the honda Del Sol, another 'which car' that was nothing mechanically amazing, but man oh man, it was just a happy car. Still want one, but the only ones i can find are so abused....but now, I've a 9 and 4 year old, and my wife would agree the Miata is beautiful, and then hit me with a brick.

Sigh. But much as used Coolpix A is now my new converted IR camera, perhaps a used Miata RF will be my slightly later than midlife crisis car?

Have you tried the Irish Honeymoon Salad ?
Lettuce alone.
But seriously I'd try adding wine vinegar, mustard etc. to the dressing. Different dressings make a big difference.

Most dried beans have to be soaked overnight and then boiled vigorously for ten minutes (toxins!) before simmering until cooked. How long they need to be cooked for depends on how old they are and some are so old that they will never be tender. In my experience dried pulses are only good in their first season, that is until the new season fresh beans are ready.
In your situation you are better off using tinned beans which need no further cooking but can be heated up if desired.

A welcome variation to the 'green' based salad is cold rice. Very nutritious and there are many types of rice to choose from, for even greater variety.
I cringed at the thought of you making enough salad for six and then putting the rest aside for later - onions are well known to attract airborne nasties once cut and the vitamins in lettuce etc. disappear soon enough once they are chopped. Please remember: make salad, eat salad, make salad, eat salad ...

Favorite salad ingredients that can be added straight from the tin: sweet corn, bean sprouts, red beans, asparagus, tuna.

I highly recommend what my wife and I call matchstick salad: some combination of julienned carrots, beets, apples, pears, celeriac, etc. With some herbs and dressing it's excellent and it's variable with seasonal fruits and vegetables. You'll need a mandoline or a lot of time and knife skills.

I had a BMW Z3 before they were tagged "chick cars." Come to think of it, a couple of my friends (women) had them too. I test drove a Miata before I settled on the Z3 and did not like it. It felt cheap compared to the Z3. Today, I drive for economy with a Scion FRS.

Being a vegetarian for decades, I like all salad fixings. My favorite add-ins are feta cheese and black olives.


The original Lotus Elan was the best Miata. Except for the fact that Mazdas usually run.

Re: "Women's cars"

I recently watched a big, televised drag racing competition. The Top Fuel final was between two women.

Re: Salads

Nuts. Especially pine nuts.

Always wanted an MX5, Miata to you, but only the series 3, I think (the one with the shoulders at the rear). Preferably the pale green with the navy blue soft top. But yesterday I was passed by a Honda S2000 with the top down. Now there's a car! Looked up the For Sales - there's one in Perth, a 2008 model (!) for $38,000. 80,000Km. Phwoooaaar. Gunmetal silver.

Much as I want it, I'm going to be spending much of my time with my new lady in Bali from now on. She's from Austria, I'm from Australia and we met in Bali. Never ever give up hope.

Bought a used '90 Miata and liked everything about it except the lack of oomph. (With 4.11 rear end gears, I expected better.) I was perplexed by the "chick's car" label. Didn't any of the kids who called it a girl's car realize the record it had in SCCA racing. _That_ is why I bought one. Now I'm happy with my Impala - comfortable, lots of room and a V-6 that'll scoot when I need it to. Good fuel mileage on the highway too.

If you like a slightly sweet taste in salads you might want to add berries to your salad. My wife and I occasionally add blueberries or sliced strawberries in season and dried cranberries when fresh fruit isn't available.

I love things that add crunch to a salad - pickles, sauerkraut etc but one thing that is surprisingly great is a sprinkle of panko breadcrumbs.

Mike wrote, "'Another misconception...that the Miata is a "chick car.' [ ... ] to the great consternation of hysterical men who don't want to be seen being or doing anything that might be construed as feminine."

There are two Porsches in my neighborhood both owned and operated by women. The men are neither consterned nor hysterical. I guess Porsches are different.

Funny koinkidink, I just came home yesterday from a coronary operation, and the last day there, for the first in my life, I ordered a tuna salad for main lunch, and though it didn't even have any dressing at all, I found it really nice and refreshing.

Ironic that a car enthusiast should worry about climate change. Cognitive dissonance?

This red cabbage, kale, carrot, and parsley salad is terrific:


I like to use the grater blade in the food processor for the cabbage and carrots but the result is similar. Variations are possible, of course, with cilantro, say, instead of parsley. I leave off the hemp seeds.

As for different ingredients, I like grated kohlrabi and grated carrots
with seeds and vinaigrette. I also sometime add grated yellow beets to the slaws and salads. Throw the greens in your soup!

Viva roadsters! Chick cars? Who cares.

The Miata looks like a Z4 that melted.

1) Smoked salmon for the protein and omega 3 content (tinned mackerel is another option.)
2) Very thinly sliced ginger root for it's effect on post prandial glucose metabolism and much, much more.
3) Apple cider vinegar also for your glucose/ insulin.
4) Whatever herbs are in season and you can grow in your garden e.g. ( in my case) Sage, mint, Rosemary, basil, lemon verbena.
5) EVOO, lots of it.
6) Diced cheese, the kind you like.
7) Beetroot, I like to grate rather than chop it. (Same with carrots)
8) Raw Broccoli. Way too healthy to leave out of your high octane salad. And yes, it's gotta be raw.

If you'd like to kick the flavor index of your salads up a couple of notches, try some some small (diced) chunks of fresh fruit. Whole blueberries, fresh pineapple, ripe strawberries, whatever you personally like.
Definitely a pleasant surprise when you hit a piece.
Along the same line (unexpected flavor kick), but way off the charts of weirdness is to throw a few M&Ms onto the top of
your next plate of spaghetti w/marinara sauce....you will be surprised at the combo
Best wishes...

Last year I picked up a 2006 NC as a midlife crisis car. It's the most fun I've ever had on four wheels, and I've had some hot cars.

Dan Neil (the only car critic who's won the Pulitzer Prize for his car reviews) meditates on the chick car in this old review of the Lexus SC430:


A real man doesn't care what other men think of him and drives what he enjoys driving, be it a Miata.

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