Sunday, July 11, 2010

Status to Target: 46 Things

In automotive engineering, we have a technique that we use when we design a new car or truck - for lack of a better phrase for it, I will call it "status to target".   It is a way to set a goal for what you are designing (the "target") and then you periodically check out how you are progressing toward that target, which is called your "status".    Eventually, as you progress toward production, your target becomes your "objective" - i.e. you are committing to realizing what you planned, and you have a way to get there.  In engineering, some examples targets are financial, assembly time, quality, weight (because weight translates into fuel economy), power consumption (if you are working on something that consumes power, because that affects fuel economy), wind resistance (fuel economy, again), perfomance based (i.e. damping, spring rate, loads, etc), emissions, horsepower, etc.   I could go on and on...but however, the point I am trying to make is that it is helpful to apply the "status to target" method to just about anything.  While on vacation last week, it dawned on me I should check on my "status to target" on the 46 goals I set for myself almost 6 months ago for my 46th birthday.   How am I doing?  It might be a good idea to check and set up a plan for the remainder of the year.

Here's what I said I would do, and my completed items are crossed off. 

  1. Celebrate the food of the 1960s! Make a gelatin based dish that's not fruity....aspic or vegetable based. I haven't done this one, but maybe I could do it this week.   I've got a lot of carrots around, and some herbs.
  2. Learn how to play "The Entertainer" on the piano.  Haven't touched the piano yet.  It's dusty, in fact, becasue the cherubs are on summer sabatical from lessons.
  3. Hike the Potowatomi trail with friends, and have a picnic en route. Great idea!  I will schedule something with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers.  I just sent out the note.
  4. Pickle brussel sprouts. This is a fall activity.  I'll do it in Oct.
  5. Swim in Lake Huron when we camp this summer at Harrisville State Park  
  6. Learn how to play "The Shanty Song" by Jonathan Edwards on guitar by heart. Memorize the lyrics.  See number 2...guitar has as much dust on it as the piano does.
  7. Buy a harmonica and learn how to play it.  I was gifted a I guess I am halfway done.
  8. Play guitar when I cantor at church for one Mass.   We have a new music director at church - I am not sure she'll be amenable to this idea.
  9. Sew something.  I would like to make a skirt - cotton with some lycra.  I have been thinking about it.
  10. Find out more about the garrison that was in Dearborn.   I sent a note to myself at work so I could schedule it.
  11. Make a pilgrimage to the Fr. Solanus Casey Center. Ditto - it's something I could do on a lunch break.
  12. Attend a service at a monastery.   I don't have a plan for this yet.  Any ideas?
  13. Visit Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton.  I'll see if Martha wants to go sometime.
  14. Kayak the Huron River at night when there is a full moon with my friend Martha. 
  15. Visit the Peach Mountain observatory.  Need a plan for this one...maybe when the kids are done with camp?
  16. Use my pressure canner to can soup.  Schedule for fall...
  17. Plant another rose bush.
  18. Make a mosaic.  I would like to make a sign for the camper before our next outing.
  19. Make a hypertufa garden planter.  Maybe in August? 
  20. Try to bake bread again without using a dutch oven a la Mark Bittman - I just want to make it like old ladies do.  
  21. Make a chronicling project.  I am going to have to work on the scrapbooking cover.  Maybe I will make one themed around my mother.
  22. Make one recipe out of the Moosewood cookbook to celebrate the 1980s.  This should be easy enough to do.
  23. Another gem from the 1960s....make a hamburger recipe from 365 Hamburger Recipes.  DONE!  It was a good recipe, too.  I'll need to blog about it soon.
  24. Try caviar.  I'll save this for the holidays.
  25. Visit Parker Mill Park - another good fall activity when the colors are changing and there is are mill tours scheduled.
  26. Visit the Waterloo Farm Museum.  I'll have to schedule it for Oct. 10 - their Pioneer Day sounds interesting.
  27. Visit Savannah, Georgia. I don't know how I am going to do this....I will wait and hope that something more will be revealed about how this might happen.
  28. Play one song on my cigar box ukulele. See aforementioned dusty piano and guitar.  
  29. Complete Tigress's Can Jam by canning one item a month for 12 months straight.   I haven't yet missed a month, and July's cucumber pickles are currently cooling on the counter as I type.
  30. Continue being a canning exhibitionist by demonstrating canning at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market. 
  31. Attend the Local Food Summit and speak out on the importance of making sure local food is available for all, not just the rich. 
  32. Make at least one recipe from Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping.   Those raspberry fritters sound awfully good.
  33. Crochet a rag rug out of old jeans.   I am halfway done.
  34. Finish reading the Seven Storey Mountain.  It is still sitting on my nightstand, gathering dust just like the guitar and uke.
  35. Swim 200 yards freestyle. I am going to need to enlist Ellen with this project.
  36. Visit my friend Sheri from high school.   She is not on Facebook.  Help!
  37. Make crumb cake. Need to find a recipe first.   Sounds like a good Christmas activity.
  38. Master making gelato at home.   I found the recipe I want to use - I just need a lb of berries and some whipping cream. 
  39. Visit the Howell Farmer's Market.  Good Sunday after church activity.
  40. Visit the Ypsi Farmer's Market 
  41. Visit the Tecumseh Farmer's Market.  Maybe coordinate it with the trip to Hidden Lake Gardens?
  42. Wintersow some herbs.  I'll do it this fall for next year.
  43. Have a sunset picnic with our neighbors 
  44. Have a bonfire party in the back yard
  45. Make my hammock garden in the woods.  Yikes!   I need some inspiration here.
  46. Go on one 10 mile hike somewhere this year.  Maybe on an upcoming campout?


Tricia said...

Do you need any more jeans for your rug? I have some castoffs in a box somewhere, I think...

Anonymous said...

I want to sew something too, so let me know when you think about planning that.

Jeff and I often have a "party like it's the 1950s" party in February, which would welcome your aspic-ity goodness.

Thanx for going to the food summit and telling the rich mf'ers to suck it. Oh, and to make food affordable to all :) I love you, MK!

lookinout said...

You might get participants for a hypertuf-along. I've been tempted but never gave in.
A little because of reading your blog, I have just done pickled watermelon rind. Unfortunately I gave away my canning bath, so had to make do.

Buttercup said...

Regarding caviar, I have never eaten the really expensive stuff but have enjoyed the cheaper versions. (Not including the Greek version with the red fish roe, good in its own way.) At one time "Mr. Dee's" on Jackson had some relatively modestly priced decent refrigerated caviar which I enjoyed once.

Thus I was interested to notice on a visit to Plum Market that they have a variety of choices, mostly American farmed, which sounds good to me. I'll wait for a special occasion.

I used to make a favorite party food - egg salad, blended to a smooth puree, spread on cocktail rye with a topping of cheap caviar. Stole it from a caterer at a party I once went to.