Diddakoi Walt Whitman
Take me home...St Emilion  kay@diddakoi.com

Updated: 08/11/06

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What's on the nightstand

by Neal Stephenson


cooler morning

Friday, 11 August, 2006

So, it's fall. Ha, ha, I kid. But it seriously felt like a fall morning out there today. We've had two days of nice, sandwiched between blazing hot, nastily humid and now cool, "where's my sweater" weather. Which pretty much sums up how I feel about the weather in Southeastern PA most of the time. Too hot, too cold, not enough Baby Bear to go around.

And just in time for the cool weather, I got the A/C to work. We've been having problems with it for most of the summer - once the temps go over 95, it just can't handle it and won't cool the bedroom below 80 degrees. And when we got home on Wednesday, there was no air coming out of the vents at all, which threw Gary into a complete melt-down, pun intended.

After much storming around and gnashing of teeth, I suggested that maybe we should open up the air handler and change the filter since we hadn't done that for a year. So the air handler was opened: lo and behold, the entire thing was frozen. As in ice. As in encased in ice.

So I picked up my weapon of choice . . .


. . . and did battle with the ice monster. Fifteen minutes later, it was defrosted - huzzah!

On to the filter change! I got out the new filter, which looks like this:

Clean Filter

. . . and took out the old filter, which looks like this:

Dirty Filter

Um . . . EWWWWW! The switch was made and after a few minutes, the air handler started back up and was working again. We have grudgingly admitted that perhaps changing the filter prior to it getting to this sorry state *might* be a good idea. I am going to buy a stack of new filters at Lowe's this weekend, just so we have them around.

Well, there you have it. The reason that Diddakoi.com is consistently rated highest for home appliance filter change blogging! I mean where else can you get this kind of sheer edge-of-your-seat excitement? I mean, the drama, the suspense: will they or will they not actually get the A/C working? What was Suki doing during all of this?

[Answer: supervising.]

Actually, Wednesday was not all bad. We did go out to a new restaurant: Bar Ferdinand. It's a Spanish tapas place about two blocks from the house, in the new Liberties Walk section of Northern Liberties. There is a low-rise apartment complex set amid some nicely paved walking alleys, with shops and restaurants below. Both Bar Ferdinand and Deuce (which faces it across the alley) have set up tables for outside dining and since it was so nice we ate there.

Bar Ferdinand

The food is true tapas, all small plates, was very good, and not too expensive. We had Mariscos marinated shrimp, mussels, calamari, cockles and monkfish; Albondigas - little meatballs; croquettas - little filled pastries; pinxtos - grilled pork on skewers and shredded duck confit, which was outstanding. They have a huge selection of wine, beer, sangria and cider by the glass, and offer $1 house draft beer and $2 house wines in addition to their other selections. We didn't have dessert, although the couple across from us did and it looked great - little fried pastries to dip into melted chocolate.

We were definitely on the old side of the crowd. We didn't go inside, but could see the dining rooms - terrific decor, complete with wonderful mosaic murals on the walls. The owner has also designed some of Stephen Starr's restaurants: Buddakan, Continental West, and the chef is also a Starr prodigy (El Vez, Alma de Cuba).

It was quite crowded and the service is still working itself out. Our waitress tried hard, but she had quite a few tables to run. We weren't in a hurry though and the busboys did a great job, keeping the water glasses filled and the tables cleared of dirty dishes.

Afterwards we walked through the rest of the complex. In addition to the two restaurants right on 2nd Street, there are several other shops, a pizza place, a sushi bar and another restaurant on American Street.

[And then we went home to fight with the A/C!]


[Only 7,190 more needed for our wine cellar wall.]

Quote du jour:

"I eat at this German-Chinese restaurant and the food is delicious. The only problem is that an hour later you're hungry for power."

Dick Cavett (1936 - ____) US talk show host

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