Open Thread

Monday Night Flashback OT: Cool Treats

Is there a saying about July and the weather? There should be. So far, my main goal for July has been not to suffer from heat stroke and to make sure that my whole family is keeping cool. As a result, we’ve been enjoying a lot of frozen treats. I may or may not have left the house yesterday with a purple tongue.

The easiest frozen treat I can think of is Freeze Pops – you know, the tubes of colorful sugar water, frozen to perfection. You might know them as Fla-Vor-Ice or Pop Ice. Either way, they say summer to me.  I love them because they can be bought by the 100, and stored out of the freezer until you’re ready to freeze them. I can throw them frozen in a cooler to take to the pool, and if they melt before we eat them, I just refreeze them when I get home.

I’m pretty sure that my kids will always associate summer with Freeze Pops. What’s your favorite frozen treat? How are you beating the heat this month?

37 replies on “Monday Night Flashback OT: Cool Treats”

One of my pet peeves of working in a lab and using shared equipment is lack of cleanliness. That ish can screw up experiments and bacterial/cell cultures (depending on what you do)! The technique I use requires a very clean sample and a spotless instrument in order to get good data. When I was using a shared instrument a bunch of my experiments were crappy because no matter how much I cleaned a bunch of people didn’t and the stuck crud didn’t budge with standard cleaning. A professor that collaborates with mine was super helpful and lent me her equipment (for my exclusive use!) and my data quality skyrocketed!
Since the lab that had the shared instrument moved to another university my boss bought it from them, so now <i>we</i> have to deal with messy users. On the bad side, I’ll be in charge of the shared instrument until I graduate. On the bright side I have his permission and encouragement to be as draconian as I want with the rules regarding instrument care, use, and cleaning! I plan on becoming the Dolores Umbridge of instrument cleanup, but instead of wanting order I want thorough cleaning. [rubs hands together while cackling with gee]

Frozen pitted cherries are nice. But any frozen fruit needs to have been fabulous to begin with – delicious strawberries will still be delicious when frozen, but meh ones will still be meh. Store-bought tend to be in the latter category.

In other news, I am that idiot who sends countless work emails to people in mid-July and expects them to respond, and do so in a reasonable time-frame, no less.

Screw it all. Think I’m going shopping.

I have some cold strawberry kefir and chocolate mint gelato in the fridge/freezer right now. Yum! And water infused with mint, lemon, and cucumber. Fancy! But I actually like the heat; it makes me feel like I’m sweating off pounds and makes me crave more salads/less junk food. But everyone else hates the heat and just wants to sit around the house all day, which is annoying. If I try to suggest going to a store to walk around I get mocked, so sit around the house it is…

Yup, I just chuck the bag in the freezer. The best part (okay, to me, because I’m weird like that) is that you can peel the skin off the frozen grapes and then you have this strange clear-ish glob of grape flesh that kind of looks like an eyeball. And, you know, they’re crunchy and cold and delicious…

Can we get a rousing chorus of “cancer sucks!!” ? Or possibly some suitable smash-y gifs?

A guy I knew when I was a kid (friend of the family) was just diagnosed with Hodgkin’s and is facing 6 months of chemo (after which he should, hopefully, have a very good prognosis). I haven’t seen him in years so I’m just sending good thoughts via my mother, but…eeesh. Cancer.

Boooo! Cancer sucks! And while I really wish I could find an appropriately awesome “cancer sucks gif” (I was thinking something along the lines of a mighty, justice-y looking unicorn stomping on cancer), I have now had two friends in the last 10 years get diagnosed with Hodgkins. The chemo sucks, but it’s the most treatable kind of cancer. So if there was a bright side, at least there’s that.

And yeah, the childhood-friend-bad-news can be difficult. I learned, a couple of months back, that an old friend had died a couple of years ago. Weird kind of shock feelings. Hope this helps on the unicorn front. They can keep on a par with lions, so fingers crossed they can help your friend, too.

Aren’t you just the sweetest. Thank you:)

His mum and mine have known each other since they were kids themselves so I would have spent a good bit of time with him growing up but not really got in touch as adults. You describe the shock feelings really well.

I do love Pop Ice, for all the reasons you mentioned as well as the fact that they can be used as icepacks for injuries or coolers, then re-frozen and eaten afterward. I fondly remember Jell-O Pudding Pops, and their outer layer of ice, from the days of my youth, but my favorites now are either frozen yogurt bars or frozen juice bars. I like having bits of real fruit in my popsicles.

I think, right now, healthcare definitely is a priviledge of the wealthy, but I don’t think it should be. Does he mean it should be? If so…I can’t even even comprehend that stupidity. Like wow. Yea, I don’t think you should be friends with him if that’s what he means.

He’s a hardcore republican. He thinks employers should be able to use whatever discrimantory practices they want. I tried discussing the law Arizona was trying to pass that said employers could fire women for using birth control and he was like, “so, it’s their business, they should be able to hire and fire as they see fit”.

He got in a super bad motorcycle accident last August. In his estimation, he’s had $250,000 worth of hospital bills. His deductible was only $3,000. His wife ended up leaving him about a week after his accident and he moved back in with his parents. He couldn’t work and ended up losing his job because his FMLA ran out. He got on COBRA. Since he had no savings, his parents picked up the $3,000 insurance deductible and the COBRA payments, which if I remember were about $1000 a month.

I tried pointing out that if he didn’t have his parents to fall back on, he’d be shit out of luck and he said, “Yeah, and that would be my problem to deal with so it’s a good thing I have them.”

How wealthy and sheltered is your friend that he knows not a single hard-working person who happens to not have health insurance through their job(s)? Do they not have any regular people in your town? Where is this robber baron paradise?

(Not attacking you, but you seem to be the single bastion of reason.)

He says every job he’s had since he got out of high school has offered health insurance so he doesn’t see what the big deal is, considering he doesn’t have a college degree and didn’t have a problem finding a job with coverage. He lives in the middle-of-nowhere Kansas, pop. 17,000. He’s worked at a community college day care, for the state doing basically state sponsored Big Brother/Big Sisters stuff with kids that had gotten themselves in trouble, and a job installing home security systems.

I think a BIG part of his problem is that he never grew up and left home. He’s lived there his whole life and went from living with his parents to living with his fiance/wife, until his motorcycle accident when he moved back in with his parents (more on that up thread). He’s never, ever been completely financially independent. He’s ALWAYS had someone else’s income to fall back on.

you’re shit out of luck and you should go get yourself a better job.

I looove to hate these people. :) They make it sound so damn simple, don’t they? Oh, go get another decent-paying job with full benefits. Duh. In the past I had been looking for work as a bridge troll and wow. There’s a profession that needs a union! But now I’m a lady’s maid and I get free healthcare. Abortion coverage too! Well, if it’s the Master’s child. Which it usually is. Whoops.

Sorry, I get nonsensical when they give me nonsense.

Personally, I love ice cream sandwiches — but you can never go wrong with plain ol’ ice cream! Right now, my folks and I are spending the week on the coast of Maine, so we don’t have as much of a problem with the heat as people in the south might have. But I did take a trip to the local ice cream shop, and I discovered a new flavor of ice cream called Cookie Monster — basically blue-dyed vanilla ice cream with marshmallows and Oreos. SO. GOOD.

Do Blizzards count as a frozen treat? I freaking love them, though I haven’t actually lived in a town with a Dairy Queen in over 10 years so I’ve been subsisting on knockoff versions. There’s one about half an hour from here, so I may make my husband take me for one for my birthday later this week since we did that last year and I haven’t had one since then.

I’ve mostly been beating the heat by staying in air conditioning. The indoor pool at the Y is awesome, and we have a tiny kiddie pool in the backyard that I sat in with Lexie last week. We hit the local water park this weekend, which was awesome except for the wicked sunburn I got on my chest and back.

Sorbet is pretty much my go-to frozen confection (especially since I’m occasionally lactose intolerant). But in the summer time I will also put grapes and blueberries (and really, almost any fruit) into the freezer for snacking. I’ve also been known to eat frozen peas straight from the bag.

Beating the heat is pretty rough for me this month though, since I just started my field season. 12 hours a day outside… Luckily working in cold-water streams means sitting in the cold-water streams between sampling.

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