Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Right here, right now....


I've been wanting to publish another wildly intellectual and amusing post but I find that the world seems to throw me topics that are only relevant to me at that second. Being a nice guy, I really don't want to foist stories of my work challenges or marital adventures on anyone - there are a million billion other blogs out there that provide just that sort of content - usually in a much more engaging and interesting format.

But that's just it - that's all that happens to be in my mind right now.
Topics that are only relevant to me at this second.

I can't get my Smartphone to reconnect to my PC. I don't know why - it connects, syncs up, and then disconnects of it's own accord about an hour later. Unless I do a reboot, I can't make it work again.

I have divided my lists into a Excel sheet and a moleskine. Now, I hesitate to use one or the other for fear that I will forget to carry the task or note from one to the other. This means I'm still forgetting shit.

I have a headache. One of those really cool tension headaches that feels like your neck will explode and your disconnected head will roll under the desk. Normally I would stay home and stand under a screaming hot shower for hours but I have a certification interview at 1530 that can only be moved to a later time. Nothing like presenting my new training concept to the certification body while trying not to sweat from the pain.

My armor is not getting built fast enough for me to be ready for the next big event - I try to do it in the evenings but I get bogged down in other shit or the weather keeps me from hammering outside. Weekends always get used up for shopping and cleaning the bathrooms/laundry/kitchen/etc. I can always wear my old stuff but I'll look like baked ass.

None of these things are critical (well, maybe the headache thing) but that is what is dominating my mind - right here right now.

I wish you all clarity of the moment and peace of mind.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

We don't serve your kind here...


I just read a story from a friend...

That's like the time when I lived in San Jose and was determined to support the local alterna-cafe, rather than the Starbucks cattycorner to it on the Alameda.

One day I went in there and had the audacity to order a BLT (which was on the menu). The pierced and tattooed counter girl reared back in disgust and then told me in a deadpan voice,

"That has meat in it. I don't know how to make a sandwich with meat in it."

I said, "Really? You are being for real?"

"I can't make meat sandwiches." (pointed glare)

"Wow. Okay." (cut to me walking out and never returning...)

I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to follow whatever philosophy, religion, belief, etc that they so desire. I applaud such individuals that have strong convictions on certain topics and that they live their lives within the boundaries of these convictions.

When you force those beliefs on others you have stepped over the line.

I think with the example I stated the first question that comes to mind is "why in the hell do you have this job?" Seriously, if you know that you would be in a position to serve people food that has meat in it WHY DID YOU ACCEPT THE POSITION?!?!? And then to refuse to serve a customer (essentially losing a customer and taking money out of the pocket of your employer) is beyond the pale.

Think meat is murder? Fine - don't try to make me feel the same way! Vegan? Great - enjoy your salad without screaming at me about how my steak is the epitome of animal cruelty!

I have never been able to understand why it is that those with strong convictions always seem to be the ones that rub your nose in it every opportunity they get. Do these people think that their strong arm/guilt-trip tactics will suddenly make believers out of non-believers? Appeal to my sense of morality, my ideas of right and wrong, my intellect but don't try to bash me over the head with your personal philosophy until I "get it". All that will earn you is a lifelong enemy.

Go forth and be well, people! Live and let live.

I bid you Peace,


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I buried my friend last night...


To be honest, I don't know why I'm writing this. Maybe because I have no one else to tell and I have to get it out.

My cat, Apollo, was sleeping on his spot above the stairs Monday morning. I was already at work when my wife called. He must have rolled over in his sleep and fell to the stairs below. He broke his neck and died instantly.

He wasn't that old - only eight. He sat on the table with me outside in the garden all afternoon Sunday while I read "Lord of the Rings" and smoked my pipes. I fed him Monday morning and called him "knucklehead" like usual. Now he's gone. A
pollo was a friend and companion. This morning was really hard - he wasn't there to annoy me about chow while I made coffee. He wasn't there to get his cuddles before I got in the shower. He wasn't around to beg for the yogurt lid so he could have his morning treat. I feel really empty.

The worst thing is that it hurts so much but I have to keep it together cause I'm back at the office. People can't understand my loss - my wife and I have no children. Our cats were the closest we had to a "family". You can't just put something like that away.

When your pets are sick and cannot care for themselves anymore or when they are suffering, it's easier to let go, to be able to say "it was time". It wasn't his time.

Our other cat, Luna (his sister) has been taking as hard as the rest of us. She's just hidden in a cabinet upstairs and comes out only in the evening. I know she knows he's gone - she saw his body and looked into his grave for a while before we buried him.

I read the Rainbow Bridge text and wrote him a note on the paper before we put him in. My wife left his favorite toy mouse. We planted a tree above his grave so that he'll never be disturbed.

I know it will take a while to put all of this behind me. I can still see him sitting in his spot in the garden. Best of all, I know his spirit is with us and he'll be waiting for me on the Other Side.

He was a good buddy. I will miss him.

Damn I miss my cat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Lovin' from the Oven...


I like to eat.

For anyone who has seen me lately, this is clearly obvious but when I say it, I mean that there is a genuine interest in flavors and aromas - not simply feeding my face. Oddly enough, one of the things that I have a fascination with is meatloaf. Yep, good old meatloaf. A humble dish to be sure, but one that is filled with memories of times gone by, both good and bad. A dish that will perpetually remind you of home no matter where you make it or eat it. Of course it won't be like the one that you got at home but the basic ingredients are always the same. It's the feeling that you get when you tuck in that really counts. I have gone to great lengths to create a meatloaf recipe that is a combination of things I get here and the flavors that I remember from home. It has been extensively tested and the result has been heavenly. I suggest you try it...

My Version:


600 grams of ground beef (not pork and beef mixed!)
Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Mustard powder
1/2 tsp Hickory Salt
1 tbs Sweet Paprika
3 Shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
75 grams crumbled smoked bacon
Fresh nutmeg
100 grams Breadcrumbs (may be more or less, use your judgement)


Take a rectangular baking dish (15x30) and grease it up . I use Butaris, a butterfat used for frying.
Preheat your oven to 200' C. Don't cheat on this- it will come back to bite you later.
Make a strong cup of instant beef broth and set it aside. You'll use this to baste the beast later.

In a large (I'm not kidding here) non-reactive bowl add all ingredients and proceed to mix the hell out of this. The trick is to make sure that your mass is as homogeneous as possible, otherwise you'll get spots that taste like one ingredient more than the other. Form that bad boy into a oblong, not too thick (10 cm max) loaf and put it in the dish.


Pop this in the oven and bake for 45 - 50 minutes (good things take time!) Every 15 minutes, baste the loaf with the broth. This is the secret to keeping your meatloaf from drying out and becoming a doorstop. It also provides you with good drippings which is a base for your gravy.

Measure the internal temp with a thermometer and when it reaches 70' C, it's done! Take it out and cover the dish with foil for 30 minutes, allowing it to rest. In the mean time, make gravy from the drippings -there is no shame in making a packaged gravy but if you have the time and means, I suggest using demi-glace which will lift the flavor of the gravy to the heavens.

Serve with mashed potatoes and peas. Anything else is just wrong.

When you take that first bite, I promise that you too will be transported back to a better time.



Tuesday, April 17, 2007



Lately, I have become interested in the concept of using lists. Lists for everything - mostly because I have this terrible habit of forgetting things (therefore incurring the wrath of my dear Wife).

I've been trying to come up with a useful way of noting down all the myriad things that I have to accomplish both at home and at work. Work has been relatively easy as I always have my trusty Moleskine handy with all my little flags, highlighters, etc on hand to catalog and prioritize what needs accomplishing. Home has been another challenge.

I have pocket-sized notebooks that I carry in my back pocket and a wonderful Fisher Space Pen in my pocket for writing things down. Sadly, when I'm sitting around in t-shirt and sweats or in my robe in the morning while sipping coffe, it's a bit impractical to lug these things around (not to mention embarrassing). This means that when my wife gets on my case about something (and she will...) I will forget it if I don't write it down.

Like this morning.

There was something between folding the laundry and buying cat food that I was asked to do but I cannot for the life of me remember what the hell it was.

I do know that I will be reminded of what that was tonight.



Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Those Little Black Books...


Yeah, I know, it's been a while. A few months to be exact.

Well, I'm back at it.

As for the title of this post - those "little black books" I refer to are Moleskines, a product that rises above others mainly through it's simplicity, elegance, and quality. Sure, it's "just a notebook" but if you hold one in your hand, there is a difference that you can immediately feel and see. This isn't one of those cheap-ass 99 cent things that you get from the materials cabinet at work, no sir, it's more like a book. Something that you would feel bad about losing. Something that you would not use as a coaster for that cup of coffee during a meeting. I hope that I've been able to relate to you, dear reader, the feel that you get from having a Moleskine. It is a feeling of holding something of great quality and worth.

Go here: to see how others use their Moleskines.
Go here: to purchase these gems online.

Me, I use mine for my notes and lists. I have a small lined on in my back pocket along with a Fisher Space Pen for jotting down things like To-Do items from my wife or gift ideas. It's an everyday kind of list - nothing of great structure but something I can make freestyle notes in. I have some of the hardbound Large notebooks for work - I have a specific book for my daily taskings and one I use for concepts and ideas. I mark the spines of these with gold paint so I can separate them from my non-work notes.

You'll never want to lose your notebook ever again!



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